Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Jazzing up Mac and Cheese
It's the vernal equinox and while Spring has threatened to come to upstate New York, today it's twenty degrees outside with lots of strong wind blowing the powdery snow up our noses. We need some comfort food. Here's our spicy version of macaroni and cheese:
Jazzy Macaroni and Cheese
1 (10-12 oz.) box gluten-free pasta (short squat pastas are best for this dish, like elbows or shells or rotini as they soak up lots of sauce)
3 small onions (or 1 large onion), chopped
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 cups milk
1 stick butter
8 oz. grated Cheddar cheese or any other combination of cheeses (I had a few dollops of leftover sour cream and ricotta and added that to the mix)
Salt to taste
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
1 (7.75 oz.) can red jalapenos, sliced and drained (optional: very spicy with these, but awfully beautiful)
½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs
Cook pasta until firm and drain. You don’t want to let it cook fully as it will soften more in the oven.
Saute onions in a couple tablespoons of butter until browned.
Mix cornstarch with a few tablespoons of the milk to dissolve. Combine milk and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Do not let burn. Add cornstarch mixture and cook over low heat until thickened. Add cheeses and stir until melted. Season with salt to taste. Add sautéed onions, chiles and jalapenos and stir to coat.
Add noodles and blend thoroughly. Pour into a buttered or oiled 4 quart baking dish. At this point, I would have topped with some gluten-free bread crumbs, only I didn’t have any. I threw on some grated Parmesan cheese to compensate.
Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until everything is nicely browned and bubbly.
Serves 4 to 6.