Something about a brisk and sunny Saturday afternoon just makes me want to open the windows and spend some quality time in the kitchen. Today we revisit my favorite kitchen experiment - Chipotle Mac!
As always, this tasty treat just needed a little help to make it all the mac it could be.
5 c medium pasta shells, cooked
6 tbsp butter
6 tbsp flour
2 1/2 c 2% milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 tbsp adobo sauce
1 bay leaf
1/2 c gruyere, shredded
1 c vintage English cheddar, shredded
1 c extra sharp cheddar, shredded
3 tbsp panko
1 link chicken andouille sausage, chopped and browned
3 tbsp scallions, chopped
Combine milk, ground mustard, garlic powder, pepper, chili powder and bay leaf in a small saucepan and keep warm over medium low heat.
Heat butter and adobo sauce in a pot over medium low heat. Slowly whisk in flour. Once flour is incorporated, slowly pour in warm milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses.
Coat pasta with sauce and pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle with panko, sausage crumbles and scallions.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 375. Remove foil and bake at 425 for another 5-10 minutes or until top starts to brown.
I used whole wheat shells this time around and I think that was a really bad idea. I'm not a fan of whole wheat pasta in this dish because of the texture. Regular pasta works perfectly and honestly, if you are going to make some mac n cheese, go all out and rock the regular pasta. Just saying.
Since I made way too much cheese sauce than pasta, I scrambled and cooked up some 1/4 boxes of trottole and campanelle I had in the cabinet to make another batch. Way more photogenic and SO much better tasting. Ahh. So what if it's a random mix of shapes? It tastes amazing!!
Re: sausage crumbles - I first thought of bacon crumbles, but I had chicken andouille sausage in the fridge. It's tough since the chicken sausage is already cooked, so make sure you chop it up well in order for it to brown nicely.
Of course, if you have some regular andouille sausage lying around, feel free to slice it out of the casing and brown the crumbles that way!
Have you tried my chipotle mac yet? I think it's about time you did!