Friday, May 23, 2008

Chipotle Mac and Cheese

This wonky So Cal weather (tornadoes in Riverside county?! flash floods in Orange county?!) has me longing for warm, comforting food. I grew up in a foreign household where things like mac and cheese only came out of that "blue box". My sister loved it...I thought it was the grossest stuff ever. My only other experiences with the stuff were greasy church buffets or the semi good stuff the moms of my friends made. I have only ever tried homemade mac and cheese one other time in college and the bechamel was beyond my comprehension at the time. Probably too many beer bongs. So a little over a month ago, I went to a beautiful wedding in the Bahamas and for dinner we had the best mac and cheese I have ever had. Lucky for me, the couple gave us the recipe. Ever since I saw another recipe for mac and cheese on Tastespotting, I had been longing to try this particular brand of cheese. As I am trying to be green and kosher food is almost as green as you can get, I was longing to try it. However, it was very frustrating trying to find out where they sell it. Then lo and behold, today I am at the grocery store about fifty steps from my apartment there it was!!! I did a mini dance in the store, but then had to restrain myself because of the weird looks I was getting. After I picked up the rest of my ingredients I headed home, but I was so tired I couldn't even think about cooking. I tried to take a nap, but failed. All I could think about was this mac and cheese. I used the original recipe from the Bahamas wedding, but added some of my own modifications. PS, this is not a super creamy, milky kind of mac and cheese so if that is what you're looking for...keep looking. However if you are looking for a super cheesy, oniony, bacony, smoky flavor - well, follow the recipe below!

Chipotle Mac and Cheese

16 oz Cavatappi pasta
8 oz Sugar River Cheese Company White Cheddar and Chipotle Cheese
2 oz shredded sharp cheddar
8 slices (or more if you want) of bacon - cooked and chopped into bite sized pieces
1 small or 1/2 large onion chopped
1/2 c of milk (normally I drink nonfat, but I used 2% in this recipe)
1 large egg
2 or 3 tbsp of butter
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
about 1/4 c of breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Boil pasta in salted water until it is well done - al dente. Drain well. Add the butter and milk and mix well. Then add the cayenne, bacon, chopped onion, and most of the 2 cheeses. Add more salt if needed. Mix until the pasta is well coated and then add the egg and mix again.

Grease an oven proof dish with a little butter and pour macaroni mixture into dish. Top with breadcrumbs and left over grated cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crusty and all of the liquid is absorbed. Let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into.

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