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Do you ever feel like some recipes are more challenging than others? I cook a lot, lol!! But this recipe was a challenge for me. The reason is that my husband never liked homemade macaroni and cheese, so I never made it! yes, I will confess he loves his "Kraft" mac n cheese! No way!! He never knew, but I kinda stopped making that for him about three years ago.... Ssshhh!
So after many years, I was asked by a friend to enter this macaroni and cheese contest, and of course the cook in me could not say no. The first thing that came to mind was my favorite cheesy dish I like to share with friends, "Queso Fundido"! I like to make mine with Mexican chorizo and roasted poblano peppers. There's no skimping going on in this recipe. The mac n cheese contest is still a couple weeks away, but so far the first test pan got rave reviews. Wish me luck!!
Yields up 8 servings
5 ounces Mexican chorizo
1 large poblano pepper
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (I used 1% milk)
1 cup heavy cream
1½ tablespoons dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1½ pounds extra sharp (white) cheese, shredded
1½ cups Mexican crema
8 ounces small pasta shells
½ cup crushed, taco flavor Doritos chips
½ cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
Canola or olive oil spray
1. Set the top shelf in oven to about 10 inches from top broiler. Preheat broiler for 5 minutes. Preheat a nonstick medium pan to medium/high heat for 3 minutes. Place the poblano pepper on a foil lined baking sheet. Cook under broiler, turning when needed, until the skin blisters on most sides. Never leave the broiler unattended. Cook the chorizo in nonstick pan for 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer chorizo to a plate lined with paper towels, set aside. Remove poblano from oven and let it cool in plastic storage bag or in between a clean kitchen towel.
2. Combine the milk and heavy cream in a glass bowl or large measuring cup. Heat in the microwave for 35 to 45 seconds just to heat slightly, set aside. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, whisk in the flour and cook for another minute. Whisk in the milk mixture, add the nutmeg, mustard, salt and pepper. Cook on low/medium heat, without boiling, for 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add 1 pound of the shredded cheese, reserving the remaining cheese. Stir just until melted, cover and remove from heat.
3. Combine the crushed "Doritos" and panko bread crumbs in a bowl, set aside. While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. Remove the blistered skin, stem, and seeds from poblano pepper, then dice. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with canola or olive oil. Add the cooked pasta, white cheese sauce, Mexican crema, chorizo, poblano pepper. Stir gently to combine. Top with remaining shredded cheese, panko and "Doritos" mixture. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for at least 20 minutes before serving. Yields up 8 servings.
Note: The macaroni and cheese is much easier to serve if you let it cool slightly. If you like it even more cheesy, add another cup of your favorite shredded cheese! Cover and keep in refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you cannot find Mexican crema, don't worry! I have a recipe on how to make your own Mexican crema, click here: http://www.hispanickitchen.com/profiles/blogs/mexican-crema
Other recipes by Sonia:
Mini Gorditas Stuffed with Chorizo and Cheese
Tilapia In a Green Chile Sauce With Coconut Lime Rice
Chile Relleno with Serrano Shrimp
Tequila Lime Shrimp
Steak Ranchero and Potato Tacos
Annatto-Citrus Marinated Chicken
Kickin' Sloppy Joe & Cheddar Pie
Chile Garlic Shrimp Kabobs
Chicken Enchilada Soup with Chayotes
Chocoflan / Pastel Imposible
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