Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ode to Macaroni

This is my personal fav mac n' cheese - I think I got this recipe from Picky Palate http://picky-palate.com/ over a year ago - she is a great cook - and has a TON of ideas.

Jack Mac n' Cheese

1 lb dry elbow pasta noodles
1/2 c white onion, diced
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1 T jalapeno, diced seeds and membrane removed
2 c cooked shredded rotisserie chicken
3 T chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 c butter
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/2 call purpose flour
14 oz can tomatoes with green chilis, milk
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
5 c whole milk
2 1/2 c shredded cheddar
2 1/2 c shredded Monterey Jack
1/2 c cream cheese, softened
2 T melted butter
1 c plain Panko bread crumbs

Cook pasta for about 10 min or until al dente, drain and reserve. preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat EVOO in a skillet over medium high heat. add onion, bell pepper and jalapeno saute until tender add chicken, cilantro, salt, cumin, pepper and tomatoes; saute for 3 or 4o more min, remove from het and set aside. in a separate large pot over med heat, melt butter. remove from heat and whisk in flou, salt and pepper until sooth. place back on med-high heat, slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boile while continuously whisking. reduce heat and stire in Cheddar, Monterey Jack and cheddar until melted and smooth. stir in cooked pasta and chicken mix. Pour mac and cheese mix into a greased 3 qt. casserole. in a med bowl, combine butter and panko. toss to coat and sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the M&C. bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crumbs are browned.

My kids don't like baked macaroni - their little palates are pretty unrefined- this is the recipe my kiddos request the most...

Mac For My Peeps
1/2 block of Velveeta
Salt & Pepper

I use whatever pasta I have on hand - whatever is requested - my kids like the funny shapes. Split the loaf of Velveeta in half and then into cubes. Add milk, salt and pepper to taste. I usually melt the Velveeta in the micro and add the milk, salt and pepper in for the last round. It's easy to tell what effect the milk has on the cheese. Just add 1/4 c at a time until you find the consistency you like. Pour over hot pasta and serve. EASY. Plus, you can always add in according to your tastes, I've added bacon, onion, and ground beef or chicken to make it more of a one pot meal etc. Velveeta also sells "Pepper Jack" and "Mexican Mild" to add a little more kick.

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