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Mexican Mac & Cheese

Let's take a pause on all this pumpkin stuff. I can only handle so much. (PS - That's totally not true.) What is totally true is that I have too many other recipes that I want to make as well. Plus, let's face it, I'm going to bore my taste buds to death pretty soon.  Even though there's only one pumpkin recipe on my blog this season, that doesn't account for all the pumpkin coffees, lattes, sauces, and desserts that I've been eating on the side. I prefer not to talk about it. This may be the reason my jeans are having a hard time buttoning these days. Ugh. Yup, let's not talk about it.

I want to show you this Mexican Mac and Cheese that I found on SeattleDee's blog, On the Move-In The Galley. OTM-In The Galley was my assigned blog for this month's Secret Recipe Club. SeattleDee has a ton of tasty recipes on her site, but I didn't have enough time to make them all, so I decided to go with the recipe that "spoke" to me the most. Enter this dish.

Surprisingly, I have only one other mac and cheese recipe on this blog. I think it's because in the Bahamas we tend to bake our macaroni (It is "macaroni", not "mac and cheese".) and it has a slightly different texture than other mac and cheeses that I've come into contact with over the past few years. So I don't know what it is about this recipe but it pretty much drew me in and I knew I had to make it.

Please note that this recipe will not help me fit into my jeans this season. I'm a self-sabotager. But I am going to be a well-fed self-sabotager.

 

Mexican Mac and Cheese
slightly adapted from On The Move-In the Galley
makes 6-8 servings

Print Recipe

  • 2 cups pasta (use elbows, penne or another short, hollow shape)
  • ~10 oz sausage (or use 1 tsp chipotle chili powder and 1 tsp smoky Spanish paprika)
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 rounded tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pepperjack or Mexican cheese, chunks or shreds
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar, chunks or shreds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • several dashes of hot sauce and/or red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 - 3/4 cup panko or fresh, buttered breadcrumbs

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2) Cook the pasta until just al dente. Drain and set aside.

3) Use a small sauté pan to cook the sausage over medium heat until it releases its spicy oil.  Make sure the sausage is cooked but not crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

4) Saute the vegetables in the same pan until soft, but not browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

5) In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring frequently, until the flour begins to color.

6) Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly to avoid clumping, and cook until the sauce smooths and begins to thicken.

7) Add the cheese, a few handfuls at a time, and stir to blend. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.

8) In the saucepan or a bowl, combine the pasta, chorizo and cooked vegetables with the sauce.  Mix gently with a spatula to coat.

9) Pour into a buttered 9" x13" casserole dish and pat down gently but firmly.

10) Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top.

11) Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cheese bubbles and the topping browns.

12) Remove from the oven and let the dish cool for at least 5 minutes.  Serve warm.