Friday, July 24, 2009

July Taste and Create: Mexi Mac and Cheese

I signed up for a little blog event, called Taste and Create where we are paired up with another food blogger. We then pick something to make from their blog, and share it on our own! I get to swap with Piccante Dolce this month and I decided on a dinner recipe she adapted, as found here.

Testing each others’ recipes
I wasn't even sure I would be able to make this round because Mr. had an emergency appendectomy this week! So a lot of my time has been spent at his bedside hanging out. Thankfully his stay wasn't long, but it sure threw a loop in whatever plans we had going. I had wanted to make 1 of 3 recipes from her blog, but because of our situation, I didn't think dessert would be the best choice right now. So I opted for a simple dinner.

This was pretty easy to make. You make a cheesy sauce and pour it over the pasta and meat, add some crumbled tortilla chips and bake till bubbly. I used ground beef (it's what I had on hand) and saved a little cheese for the topping. I didn't need the full 4 Cups of cheese, the sauce was so thick and gooey already! Mmm! We liked this dish, and I think it'd be great to add some black beans and corn in there also!

Mexi Mac and Cheese

1 lb ground turkey (I used ground beef)
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
3/4 cup water (or what is called for for the seasoning packet)
1 tsp chili powder (optional)
1 tsp cumin (optional)
2 Tbsps olive oil
1 small onion diced
5 Tbsps butter (separated)
5 Tbsps flour
2 cups milk
4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (I used 3 3/4 C )
1 10 oz can of Rotel (a diced tomato & chili mixture) - drained
1 lb large elbow macaroni cooked
1 cup bread crumbs or crushed tortilla chips (I used crushed Tostitos)
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. brown ground turkey. Add the taco seasoning as directed on the packet, it may be a bit runny and if so just continue to cook until it reduces down. Add the chili powder and cumin, stirring to combine.

2. In a large pot heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat and saute onions until translucent.
3. Add 4 tbsps of butter and the 5 tbsps of flour to the onions & oil. Mix together until combined and flour is slightly brown. Whisk in milk and lower heat to medium, stirring until begins to thicken.

4. Remove sauce from heat and stir in cheese, one handful at the time. Add Rotel and browned turkey, making sure not to add too any extra liquid. Add in cooked pasta.

5. Pour pasta mixture into a buttered baking dish. Top pasta with bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and dot with remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake in heated oven for 30-40 minutes or until top is nicely browned and cheese is bubbly.

She adds, "I added the cumin & chili powder because I found the spice packet I used didn't have enough heat and the additional spices made it just right for me. To make this more special I'm going to try topping it with crushed tortilla chips next time I make it. You can also sprinkle the topping with more chili powder to add even more heat. This was a fast and easy mac and cheese that served with a simple green salad makes perfect complete meal. Enjoy!"

-Hang tight guys! I have lots to blog about, and will get to it as I can. I promise! =)

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9 Lovely Comments:

camille said...

I've saved this recipe! Also, I wish your husband a speedy recovery!

Chris said...

Hey Rachelle,

Thank you so much for becoming a follower of The MiniFridge! Your blog is amazing, and I can't wait to look through everything.

The MiniFridge and Microwave

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

Oh that looks so ridiculously good even on a sunday morning while drinking coffee i could eat that :)

Julie said...

I love dishes like this...looks wonderful :)
Hope the Mr. is still recovering well!

Anonymous said...

What is "Mexican cheese blend"? (Sorry, European here...)
But looks good!

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

Hi Jackie, it's usually a blend of shredded Cheddar, Asadero, Queso Quesadilla and Monterey Jack cheeses.

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