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This macaroni and cheese recipe is one of the best things to put in your mouth especially when the weather outside is frightful. So while we wind down grilling season, which really never ends down here in Florida, we are going to serve up more comfort food to warm your tummies. Think about it, gourmet macaroni and cheese with a delicious Mexican chicken soup and fresh baked jalapeno cornbread with sweet butter spread.

This recipe calls for one of the so called "mother sauces" of French cooking, the velouté (vuh-loo-TAY) sauce. The chicken velouté sauce recipe makes more than you will need for the mac & cheese but freeze the remaining portion to add to other sauces and soups. Or to make more macaroni and cheese.

Oh and buy good quality cheeses! Don't skimp or your results will be oh so average.

 

INGREDIENTS:

For the chicken velouté

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 8 cup chicken stock, kicked up with 2 dissolved chicken bullion cubes or 2 tablespoons chicken base
  • salt
  • white pepper

 

For the macaroni and cheese

  • 2 lbs penne or elbow pasta or what ever you prefer
  • 4 cups chicken velouté
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 brine from pickled jalapenos
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos slices for topping
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

 

PREPARATION:

For the chicken velouté

In a large heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour a little bit at a time while stirring with a whisk or wooden spoon. Make sure the chicken stock mixture is at room temperature and slowly add to the pot while stirring. Bring to a slow simmer and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, and skimming off any foam. Season with salt and white pepper and pass through a strainer to remove any lumps.

For the macaroni and cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Boil the pasta in salted water according to the instructions on the packaging to desired doness. Al dente maybe?

2. Place the velouté in a large saucepan and add the cream and brine. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the 1/2 cup of minced jalapenos and cheeses and whisk until melted and smooth. Add the cooked pasta and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Pour into an oiled 4 quart casserole, top with the bread crumbs and the jalapeno slices and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Serves plenty

Photo courtesy of Aimee Knight via Creative Commons

heat3 Jalapeno Macaroni & Cheese