Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese

Want to spice up boring mac 'n cheese? Try this recipe!

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese

Bread topping:
2 Tb. unsalted butter
2 Tb. olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs

For breadcrumbs, heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and breadcrumbs and cook until crumbs are golden, stirring often. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups whole milk, warmed in the microwave
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tb. dry mustard
2 Tb. chopped chipotle chilies in adobo
1 lb. macaroni
2 lbs. extra-sharp grated cheddar cheese

For macaroni, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, cream, mustard and chipotles. Simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Must come to a full boil and thicken.

Cook macaroni in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in chipotle sauce, cheese and salt to taste. I add approximately 1 tsp or so.

Fill a 3-quart shallow casserole, greased with olive oil, with mixture and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Cheese-y goodness!

I love this macaroni and cheese. The chipotles give it a nice kick and change to the dish. The two tablespoons isn't actually that much and I'd actually might add a little more next time to make it spicier. You can control the spicy-ness level by the amount of chipotles. The toasted breadcrumbs with garlic also add a nice dimension to the meal and a nice crunch to the creaminess. I used the word "nice" a lot in that paragraph...

This definitely is NOT a diet-friendly meal with the whole milk, heavy cream AND cheese. But it's so good. I used a corkscrew type pasta instead of macaroni. It's able to keep the cheese sauce on the pasta a little better and gives the same feel as macaroni.

It didn't have the stringy cheese feel that I always envision macaroni and cheese to have. But it's rich and has a good cheddar flavor so I'm not complaining. The chipotles and cheddar play well off each other.

If you're looking for something different, try this recipe out. I'll definitely be making it again.

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