Southwestern Mac & Cheese

I know it looks weird but I promise you will thank me once you try it.

I love Mac & Cheese just like all of you, it’s the last of the childish meals I still eat. Hot Dogs? Not really. Chicken Fingers? Not as much as I’d like to. Mac & Cheese? Sign me up! That being said, I like to change things and make it more interesting and less tasting like Stouffers, albeit nothing does come closer to home. I also like colorful food. I was told once that it is a common Japanese principle to eat 5 colors a meal. It ensures flavor balance and good nutrition- not a lot of unhealthy shit in Japan that’s green. But they say you eat with your eyes and I guess that’s true – BUT – for this dish, don’t eat with your eyes so much. The topping looks a little like radioactive mold but tastes like heaven. And that’s coming from someone who believes that foods shouldn’t ever change colors (like Green Ketchup, stupid idea). I implore you to look past the shitty veneer and to not judge my cookbook by its color. Thanks.

Ok so this is a little complicated at first but you’ll understand, I’m sure of it.

Shit you’ll need:

Roux/Bechamel-

1/4 stick of Butter

Flour

Milk

Cumin, Paprika, Cayenne, Chili Powder (is this getting annoying yet?), Corriander and Garlic powder and DO NOT forget the Salt.

Roni-

About 1 1/2 cups of Macaroni

1 Roasted Red Pepper

1 Roasted Poblano Pepper

CHEESE

Green Bread Topping-

A few pieces of bread- I used Potato Bread Rolls. If you have some stuff in your freezer, have at it.

A little bit of Melted Butter- You can always add more, you can never take it out.

A good amount of Chives and even more Cilantro

And here we go!-

First you have to make your Roux, it’s a mixture of Butter and Flour- usually equal parts. What I like to do is to put the amount of butter I want in the pan and then just add Flour little by little until it thickens up. And a Roux is just that, a thickener. It’s used in a lot of cream soups, sauces and you have definitely had it in your Thanksgiving Gravy. The trick is to do it over medium to medium-low heat so you don’t cook the butter and flour too much (like I did). Not that it’s super bad, it just affects the Roux’s ability to thicken if you do it too long. HOWEVER- you do need to cook it a little while, 2 to 3 minutes after it comes together, just to ensure that the butter and flour are completely combined.

 

This is basically how you do it. I would also recommend not using a metal whisk for this as it can easily discolor your food.

 

After you build your roux, it’s time to add the Milk. I had 1%, and it doesn’t really matter to me. If it does to you, put Whole Milk in. Heavy Cream. Redi-Whip, what do I care? Back to the point- the thing about a Roux is that its thickening abilities don’t really kick in, until the whole thing is about to boil/boiling. Like right on that verge. So add some Milk, like a pint and turn up the heat and stir. When it thickens, turn it down and assess. REMEMBER you can always ADD Milk, you can never take it out. ALSO- you will be adding cheese to this so that will thicken it up. You want the end consistency to be like cheesy soup. When the Milk is thickened just right, you have what’s called a Bechamel. Read about it, it’s important. It’s this step that I like to sully it up with those spices that I mentioned up top.

 

This is too thick. Right after I snapped this pic, I added Milk and mixed it all together over low heat to bind it all up.

 

This is the part where you add your Cheese- I used Cheddar because it’s what I had at the time. I would recommend adding a variety of Cheese. Like Cheddar and Jack and Colby and whatever you want! Set the sauce aside under SUPER low heat. You don’t want it getting cold. Now it’s time for the Pasta. You know how to boil pasta so just make sure that you salt the water, otherwise your pasta can get bland and that sucks. You want the pasta to be pretty Al Dente! Buon appetito dickwads! If the box says 7 minutes, cook it for like 5 or 4 1/2 I dunno. Overcooked pasta sucks. I forgot to mention this earlier but whatever- get the black skin off your roasted peppers, cut them up, and arrange them into a little heart and take a picture of it.

Awwwww

 

 

Put in a bowl with your sauce and mix it all together. You want your pasta to be a little soupy. Like, add enough sauce to where it’s coated and it looks good enough to eat and then add a little more. The pasta will soak it up. Once you got it mixed up, spray your desired cooking vessel with pam and slap your slop into and and bake it at like 350ish until you see browning.

 

Before the breading and baking and whatnot

This is now a perfect time to make your Green Bread Topping. It’s weird but delicious. Put all the ingredients except butter into a Blender or Food Pro and pulse until it looks like breading. Then add a little butter to it- remember you are going to drizzle some butter or oil on top of it before you put it into the oven so don’t be a fat-ass.

When the Mac & Cheese is tanning on top, add the breading and put it in the oven and bake for a minute and then turn on the Broiler. DO NOT LEAVE THIS IN THE OVEN. Broilers SUCK. They fuck me on a regular basis- you just can’t know what they are going to do so just watch them. Be vigilant! If you’re lucky, it will look like this.

After- I told you it's weird but it's so good. The Herbs that make it green give it great flavor that your average Mac & Cheese just doesn't have.

 

Goes great with a pan fried Chicken Leg and a couple of wings but more on that later.

 

dangermike
I have ample time for rhymes.

2 Comments on "Southwestern Mac & Cheese"

  1. CaceFace says:

    I <3 creative mac & cheese! Def trying this out.

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