Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spicy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This is a play take on my classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese.  I wanted the sauce to remain as smooth as possible, so I used a variety of spices to the sauce.  Chile Powder, Chipotle Powder and Cayanne powder chief among the additions.  Next time I believe I may attempt to add a Spicy Jack cheese in place of the Monterey Jack that I typically use. 

I recently went to a food blogging conference, The Foodbuzz Festival to be precise.  I am very fortunate that foodbuzz (my advertising network) is located in San Francisco and that they always hold their festival in the city.  I did chose to stay the weekend in the city, but still is nice to skip the airfare and just take BART into the city.  I will be posting about my experience next week and I will over the next few months be attempting to make changes to this site, which will hopefully make the experience better for my readers. 

On thing I am going to attempt is to get more pictures into each posting.  I have attempted to take photos of my food as I cook in the past and I quickly became lazy, and stopped.  I think, however that it is time to start again.  Now the remembering to do it part....that is always the hardest.

1 pound elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon dry mustard, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
6 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
3 1/4 cups milk
2 cups vegetable broth
4 cups shredded colby jack cheese
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  1. Move the oven rack to the lower middle position of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, add the macaroni and boil for 8 to 9 minutes or until the pasta is just slightly tender.  Drain and leave in a colander.
  3. Wipe out the pot, and return it to the stove.  Melt the butter over medium heat, and add the dissolved mustard.  Stir until well incorporated and add the chile powder, chipotle powder, onion powder, garlic powder and the cayenne powder.  Whisk this mixture until fragrant, and slowly add in the flour.  Cook the flour into the spice/butter mixture until the mixture is a lovely golden color and resembles a roux.
  4. Slowly whisk the broth and milk into the flour mixture, whisking constantly until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Remove the pain from the heat, and gradually add in the cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted.  Add the macaroni to a cheese sauce and stir until well combined
  6. Pour into a 9x13inch baking dish, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the top is a golden brown.
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