5.5 weeks just the kids and me.
1 week on vacation.
1 week celebrating my baby’s first birthday.
That’s a lot of days doing very little cooking. It’s no surprise my scheduled posts have petered out and there wasn’t much to pull from the archives to share.
The moment has finally come to share a poorly photographed original recipe.
I made this Mac & Cheese just shy of one year ago. At that point in my life I had a two week old. Daylight Savings Time had ended and the dark Ohio nights were cold. What’s a better pick-me-up than some macaroni?
I decided to save another dish to wash by making my macaroni in a Dutch oven and putting it directly into the oven instead of transferring it to a casserole dish.
Wing-it Mac & Cheese
- 1/2 lb elbow noodles
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 C whole milk, at room temperature
- 2 1/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 C panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- olive oil, for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package instructions to al dente.
- Heat vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Saute onion until tender. Add minced garlic and saute one minute. Stir in mustard, S+P, and flour.
- Whisk in the milk. Bring to a gentle bubble. Add in the cheese a handful at a time, stirring until melted before adding more. Once all the cheese is incorporated, fold in the cooked macaroni noodles.
- In a small bowl, whisk the panko and Italian seasoning. Spread over the macaroni. Drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Bake 30 minutes. Allow macaroni to rest 5-10 minutes before digging in.
Macaroni and Cheese is one of those comfort foods that everyone seems to have a soft spot for. I know it’s one of my guilty pleasures. I say that because I still (in my upper 2os) prefer the highly processed boxed macaroni to a homemade pasta. I think what I don’t care for is a baked casserole dish of mac and cheese. I don’t care for the extra cheese or breadcrumb crust on top and baked noodle dishes to me always seem dry.
But I do give a “fancy” mac and cheese a chance every now and then. And when one is a stove-top version of the comfort food I’m more inclined to give it a try. Especially when cream cheese is one of the ingredients!
And with sausage being a main ingredient I know that my husband would definitely approve. That makes this pasta a main dish and not a side.
Sausage Macaroni and Cheese
- 1/2 lb uncooked macaroni noodles
- 2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 1/4 C milk
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/3 C shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
- 1/4 C cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- In a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat cook the sausage, breaking it up.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the milk and flour. Add to the skillet and bring to a boil, whisking continuously. Reduce to a simmer and whisk in the cheeses, spices, and salt to taste. Stir until cheese is melted.
- Add cooked pasta to the skillet, coating it in the sauce.
*This recipe is adapted from Deborah at http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/cheesy-goodness/*
I have another chorizo pasta combination for Mexican Monday. And although it makes quite a few more dishes and requires more ingredients than my previous Chorizo Carbonara, I am addicted to this one.
When I day dream about this dish – yes, I actually do this – I get hungry. The leftovers are even just as delicious as when it first comes out of the oven. And I’m not very big on leftovers, pastas in particular always take on a new rubbery texture, but not these!
There are also so many ways you could change this up and make it your own: use a different meat product, add peppers or chilies for heat, serve alongside guacamole, salsa or sour cream for extra creaminess with each bite. Is it time to eat yet?
Chorizo Mac and Cheese
- 2 C uncooked macaroni noodles
- 1 C shredded Mexican cheese
- 1 C shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1 tsp of corn starch
- 1 C milk
- 2 links Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 heaping tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp bread crumbs
- olive oil, for drizzling
- Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a bowl, combine cheeses and corn starch. Set aside.
- Warm milk in a small sauce pan over low heat – do not bring to a boil.
- Brown chorizo in a sauce pan – breaking it up like you would ground beef. Add in onion and cook until translucent. Sprinkle in flour and stir. Slowly add in warm milk, stirring after each addition. It will begin to turn into a beautiful pale orange sauce. Melt in cheeses a handful at a time, stirring. Mix in drained cooked pasta.
- Pour pasta into a greased casserole dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Bake 25 minutes.
*This recipe is adapted from Elise at http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chorizo_mac_and_cheese/*
Come join Mac and Cheese Mania at Nutmeg Nanny and Rachel Cooks sponsored by Door to Door Organics and OXO!