Tex-Mex Mac n' cheese -- My latest creation
I came home tonight and needed to rustle up some dinner, as the rest of the family was out. We had a couple of bags of some shredded "Mexican" style cheese that my wife accidentally bought instead of the mozzarella we needed for lasagne, and I was thinking o doing something with the mild mix of cheddar, jack, asadero. On the back of the package, they had a recipe for what they called Tex-Max mac n' cheese. Very lame, it was just mac n' cheese with a can of diced tomatoes, but it got me thinking.
First thing I did was boil up a pound of some Barilla pipette. Then I took a 1/2 tsp of butter and heated it up in the pan. It seemed a bit skimpy, so I added a small shot of extra-virgin olive oil. I then added a chopped up serrano chile I had in the freezer from last year. As the butter turned brown, I added a tsp of flour, mixed irt and let in brown. Then I dumped in a can of store-brand diced tomatoes with roasted garlic and onion, mixed and added cumin, cilantro and oregano and basil from the garden. Next I added some sliced black Israeli olives I had around. I let this simmer into a thickened sauce and put the drained pasta into a big bowl with 4 cups (2 8 oz packages) of the cheese. Then I added the sauce to the bowl and mixed everything up good, put the mac n' cheese mix into a greased pan, and into a 350 F oven it went for about 25 minutes.
Mmmm-mm. It was good. especially when accompanied with a shot of tequilla. Much more flavor than your usual mac n' cheese. One thing that was curious was that the chile flavor was very muted, and I put in a whole chile, including the seeds. I guess next time I make it, I'll use 2 chiles.