Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chili Mac and Cheese

Can you tell it's comfort food season at my house?  Here's another mac and cheese recipe.  Chili Mac! I love using pasta shells for this recipe because they hold so much of the filling.  Here's how to make it:

What you'll need:

Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
3/4 lb shell shaped pasta
1 1/3 lb ground sirloin
1 onion, small dice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt, plus more
1 tbsp Worcestershire
3 tbsp hot sauce, I used Cholula
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
4 oz. can diced green chilies
1 cup frozen corn kernels
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cup whole milk
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 Parmesan cheese, grated
8 oz bag grated Mexican 4 cheese blend, I used Sargento
Scallions, sliced thin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta al dente.  Drain and return to the pot with a drizzle of olive oil.

Coat the bottom of a skillet with extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium high.  Add the ground sirloin and season with 1 tsp of salt.  Cook until it is nicely browned then add the onion.

Cook until the onion begins to soften then add the garlic.  Cook a minute more.

Add the chili powder, cumin and paprika.  Lower the heat to medium cook for a few minutes to wake up the spices.

Add the Worcestershire, hot sauce, green chilies and tomatoes.  Season with a pinch more salt.  Bring to a simmer then add the frozen corn and turn off the heat.  Add the meat mixture to the pasta and stir.

In a medium sized pot over medium heat, melt the butter.  When the butter is melted and sizzling, whisk in the flour.  Cook the flour for a minute then slowly whisk in the milk.  Cook over medium low heat until it begins to thicken. Add a pinch of salt.

Whisk in the cheeses. Whisk until it is nice and thick.

Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and meat mixture.  Stir really well to combine.

Pour everything into a 9x13 baking dish and bake until it is bubbly and delicious and starts to brown.  About 45 minutes.  

Sprinkle scallions all over the top and serve hot!


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