So as I’ve posted before living in the middle of farm country in Northern California there is killer Mexican food around every corner. This has fueled my absolute love of all Latino cuisine. I also of course like to bastardize it and make it fit my Southern background on occasion.
yesterday I was craving the heck out of some Mac and Cheese what with 4th of July being a few days away, who doesn’t love Mac and Cheese on the 4th of July?
But the only kind of cheese I have is a very soft Pepper Jack.
Then it hit me!!
Spicy Loaded Mac and Cheese!!!
So I’ll also state that I really like to add things to my Mac and Cheese and LOVE making cool unique (at least I like to think so…) casseroles with it. So I was pretty syked when the whole family loved this recipe.
SPICY MAC N CHEESE
- 3 cups of dried medium shells or elbow pasta
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1/2 lb of ground turkey
- 1 diced bell pepper
- 1/2 diced, sweet onion
- 2 cups cubed, pepper jack cheese
- smoked paprika
- chili powder
In a large pot, cook 3 cups of dried medium shells or elbow pasta until tender. When fully cooked, drain and put drained pasta aside.
While pasta is cooking sauté diced sweet bell peppers, onion, garlic (if you desire) and .5 lb of ground turkey in pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season with cumin, salt, pepper, and a dash of chili powder. Sauté until turkey is cooked through (don’t worry the veggies will continue to cook in the oven)
When pasta is set aside make a roux in the pot. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in bottom of pan when fully melted add 1/4 cup of flour and mix well (should be a thick but still loose paste). Allow flour too bubble and cook out while stirring for one minute. Then add 2 cups of milk. Season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cumin.
Mix together well and allow to cook on medium high heat until it begins to thicken. Stir very frequently to avoid burning on the bottom. Then mix in cubed pepper jack cheese. Stir on low heat until cheese is melted. Then mix in meat and veggie mixture and pasta. When combined evenly pour into casserole dish.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.