It's A Keeper: Smoky Chipotle Chili Con Queso Mac

I wanted some comfort food and found it in Rachael Ray's Smoky Chipotle Chili Con Queso Mac. At first, I thought I was making this, Smoky Chipotle and Cheddar . When I actually read the recipe for the one I made, number 154 in the 365: No Repeats, I found out that it is totally different, despite the similar name. It is a jazzed up version of her regular Chili Mac. Here is the recipe with my comments in brackets:

Coarse salt
1 pound penne rigate or cavatappi [I used whole wheat penne]
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (twice around the pan)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef sirloin [I used the 90 percent lean/10 percent fat stuff and it browned nicely]
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
2 tablespoons chipotle chili powder (I think it's worth it to use the chipotle kind if you can find it because it definitely has a smokier flavor, but regular chili powder would be fine too. Two tablespoons made it just as hot as I like it]
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves [I used four, sorry, I just love garlic]
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped [finely]
2 tablespoons unsalted butter [would it matter if you used salted butter? I have no idea. I just do as I am told (sometimes)]
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups milk [2 percent worked fine]
2 1/2 cups shredded smoked cheddar [smoked cheddar is just too expensive in my store, so I used sharp cheddar and thought it turned out well]
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (a generous handful), chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves (a few handfuls), chopped
1 14-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes (such as Muir Glen brand), drained [They keep this brand in the natural food section of my store]
4 scallions, chopped, for garnish

Preheat broiler to high and position the rack eight inches from the heat.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta until slightly undercooked - a little chewy at the center.

While the water is coming up to a boil, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat [I used my Le Crueset, I love that thing] with the vegetable oil. Add the beef to the hot skillet, seasoned with the cumin, coriander, chipotle chili powder, salt and pepper, and cook until lightly brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, and jalapenos and continue to cook for 5 minutes. While the beef is cooking with the onions, make the cheddar sauce.

In a medium sauce pot, melt the butter and add the flour to it. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes over moderate heat, then whisk in the milk. When the milk comes to a bubble, stir in the cheese, cilantro, and parsley with a wooden spoon. Season with a little salt and pepper, stir in the tomatoes, and remove the cheese sauce from the heat. [Really, remove it or the bottom of the pot will be covered in brown cooked milk when you are done!]

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it back into the large pot, add the contents of the chicken skillet and all of the cheddar sauce, and stir to combine. Transfer to a baking dish and place under the broiler to lightly brown. [I added it all to the meat mixture in my Le Crueset, but it was a bit hard to stir, so I recommend stirring it all together before putting it into the baking dish. Garnish bowls of chili con queso mac with chopped scallions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! Reading comments and responding to them is one of my favorite parts of having a blog, so thanks for contributing.