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Friday, February 18, 2011

7. Smoky Chipotle Mac-n Cheddar with Tomato and Chorizo

Yet another yummy mac and cheese!   Same method, as Mac and Cheddar with Broccoli, Mac n Smoked Gouda with Cauliflower and Tex Mex Mac n Cheddar with Beef and Peppers … new flavors. Not too many changes in this one.  I am not a fan of chorizo, so I used kielbasa.  Conveniently 1/2 a kielbasa for this meal and 1/2 for the corn chowder.

We aren’t big on spicy food either, so we only used 1 chipotle in adobo instead of 2.  They aren’t super spicy, but 1 definitely adds a bit of a kick.  What the heck is chipotle in adobo?? They are smoked jalapeno peppers in a red sauce.  One other tip – you only need one or two for this recipe.  Freeze the rest and cut off a piece every time you need it! They are usually near the Mexican food and look like this:


Chopped up it looks like this:


Overall this probably isn’t one of my favorite mac-n cheese recipes, but it was pretty good! 

**This recipe comes from Rachael Ray 365 – No Repeats.  Most of the recipes are directly from the book, but some I do change out ingredients a bit for things my family prefers. I’ll add my own comments in with a **.

What do you need?

Coarse Salt
1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi (corkscrew-shaped pasta) 
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) (Once around the pan)
3/4 to 1 lb chorizo, casings removed, diced ***I used 1/2 of a kielbasa link
2 chipotles in adobo
1 15 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
3 cups whole milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
3 cups grated smoked cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper

Now what?

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add salt to season the cooking water, then add the pasta.  Cook for 8 minutes or until the pasta is cooked al dente .  Drain well and return to the pot.

While the pasta cooks, preheat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add a drizzle of EVOO and the kielbasa.  Brown the meat, then add the onions and chipotle peppers and cook together for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.



**I actually changed the making of the sauce a bit for this recipe.  I wasn’t in the mood to dirty yet another pan, so I went ahead and cooked the sausage and onions.  I removed it from the pan and used that very same pan to make the cheese sauce – I had to make use of all the caramelized bits at the bottom of the pan!**


Add the EVOO and heat with the butter until it melts.  Add the onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes to sweat them out and turn the juices sweet.  Raise the heat a bit, then whisk in the four, cayenne, and paprika.  Whisk together until the roux bubbles up, then cook for 1 minute more.  Whisk in the milk and stock and raise the heat a bit higher to bring the sauce to a quick boil.  Once it bubbles, drop the heat back to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. **I whisk in about half of my liquids to see how thick it becomes, then keep adding in more until my sauce is the perfect thickness. For this recipe it’s really important to leave it a little thicker than usual.  Once you add the tomatoes it will thin out a little bit**


Add the cheese to the thickened sauce and stir to melt it, a minute or so.  Stir in the tomatoes and mustard and season the sauce with salt and pepper.  Pour over the  cooked pasta and toss to combine.   Fold in the beef and bell peppers.  Adjust the seasonings, transfer to a large platter, and serve.


4-6 servings

How did yours turn out??

Until the next time…
The girl behind the lama

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