Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It's Mac & Cheese, but I'm calling it something else

A close up of some lightly roasted tomatoes and panko breadcrumbs.

Not bad looking for a quick throw together meal!

So what do we have here?

We have...

3/4 lb elbow macaroni, cooked to al dente

Then a chili cheesy sauce made by:

Melting 3 TB butter in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Add one diced onion and a hefty pinch of salt. Saute for 3-5 minutes until they start to soften. Add 1 heaping TB of chili powder and 1/2 TB of dried mustard. Stir to incorporate; adding the spices in the hot fat allows the flavors to bloom and come alive, especially if they may not be the freshest spices. Add 3 TB of flour to the pan. Stir to incorporate and allow to cook for about a minute. This is a roux. Add 1 cup of chicken broth, stir to fully blend together. Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Stir. Now add the cheese. I used up a few types of cheese I had left over, but you generally want about 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese. Cheddar is especially nice, but a blend of cheeses is also a very nice treat! Stir until melted and gooey. Taste and adjust seasoning.

For a little protein, I added one boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and chopped into bite size pieces. Add at this point.

When your pasta is cooked, drain and added to the cheese sauce. Stir.

Pour into a baking dish, a square 9x9 is good. My pan was about 10 x 5 or some abnormal size like that. Sprinkle the top with diced & seeded tomato, about two roma tomatoes. Sprinkle with a little grated parmesan if you have it and toasted bread crumbs seasoned with a little salt, pepper and dried thyme. Bake for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Chicken Chili Mac!

1 comment:

Dancer in DC said...

For such a thrown-together meal, it was immensely satisfying. I loved the crispy breadcrumbs, and the tomatoes were really ripe and sweet.

And to think I was ready to pull out the blue box!