Mexican Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese & seasoned taco beef.. taking the best of both worlds and combining them into a casserole of delicious goodness! My taco beef is a mix of chopped meat, taco seasoning, chipotle corn salsa, a Mexican four cheese blend, a bit of water, sriracha, salt and pepper. It is always a tremendous hit with my guests, whether served in a shell, in a ring or now, in mac and cheese! You can adjust the heat, by adding jalapenos, or not using sriracha. My hubby and I are spicy people, so bring it on! I really look forward to sharing this recipe with you all!

Using my Gram's homemade Mac and Cheese recipe (below)

For the Mac and Cheese:
1 box cavatappi noodles (or elbow, medium shells)
1 stick of salted butter
1/2 cup flour
5 cups of milk
1 cups heavy cream
1/8 tsp ground mustard (powder)
1/8 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
16 oz. white cheddar cheese, shredded (mix it up, use yellow cheeses, or white cheese, or smelly cheeses lol) 
1/8 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

For the taco beef:
1 lb ground chopped meat
1/4 cup chipotle corn salsa (we recommend any Mrs Renfro's brand))
1/4 cup shredded Mexican four cheese
1-2 tbs taco seasoning (or one packet)
1-2 tbs sriracha
2 tbs water
Salt & pepper, to taste
*Optional: jalapenos, chopped

Let's Cook!

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using the beef ingredients: Heat a large saute pan on medium-high heat. Brown beef, about 4-5 minutes, then drain the fat and grease. Place beef back into pan, lower heat.

2. Add salsa, Mexican cheese, taco seasoning, sriracha, water, salt and pepper (and chopped jalapenos if you'd like). Bring to a low simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Using the mac and cheese ingredients: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta (I used Elbows) per box directions.

4. Heat a separate large pot on medium heat, melt the butter, then add the flour and stir until blended. This will create a rue which is a tan, creamy paste.

5. Slowly add milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, and stir constantly. (this step will take about 15-20 minutes, try not to rush it - keep the mixture on the thicker side). Add heavy cream and continue to stir.

6. Once all of the milk and heavy cream are added, lower heat. Add ground mustard, salt, paprika, and stir. Stir in cheese. Remove from heat and stir until cheese is completely melted, creating a creamy cheese sauce.

7. Add noodles, and taco meat into a large casserole dish. Mix around the beef until it is evenly spread. Add cheese sauce to casserole dish and gently mix. Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs.

8. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbling.

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