Saturday, November 9, 2013

Chorizo Mac 'N Cheese

A spicy and meaty play on mac 'n cheese!

1 lb. penne pasta
3 c. cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tsp. olive oil, plus some for drizzling
1 package chorizo, casings removed and finely chopped
6 Tbsp.  butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 c. milk, warm
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. hot sauce
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 c. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 c. shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (2.7 oz.) can fried onions
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook the pasta in salted, boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander.
Cook pasta according to package directions

Add the cherry tomatoes to a sheet tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, until visibly plump and softened.

Put tomatoes on foil-lined baking sheet & drizzle with oil. 
Add salt & pepper
Cook until they soften/start to blister
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Saute the chorizo in a saute pan until crisp. Remove.

Fry until you start seeing crispy edges forming around meat.

Take a moment to pre-warm your milk.  If it gets too hot, it may develop a filmon top.  Just skim it off and you're good to go.  You can also heat milk in the microwave, if you prefer.

Heating milk

If milk gets too hot, it will bubble and cause a film on top. 

Just skim top of heated milk off if a film forms from heating.

Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepot over medium heat.

Add flour, stirring for 1 minute. 

Whisk in the warmed milk and bring to a boil.

Continue to whisk constantly (to prevent lumps). Stir while adding the mustard, hot sauce and Worcestershire.
Add Mustard Powder

Add Hot Sauce & Worcestershire 

Stir in the cheese; reserving 1/2 cup for the topping.  The mixture will thicken as the heat increases.

Thickened Sauce
Pour the drained pasta into the cheese sauce and mix well.

Add to a 3-quart casserole dish.

Add the chorizo and roasted cherry tomatoes.

Top with reserved cheese and the fried onions.

Bake for 35 minutes. Can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking if refrigerated

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