Mike played in a softball tournament all day on Saturday. He must have had a
Colie moment blond moment and didn't take anything with him to eat...all day! So, around 3 I get a phone call "What are we having for dinner?". Bugger...I didn't think that far, I was too wrapped up in the marathon of "Kourtney and Kim take New York". I asked him what he would want but, he said "whatever you want babe". Well that drives me nuts because then I go frantic. But, after looking through the cabinets and seeing a small can of green chilies, I was inspired. It was a cold day and with Mike being in the elements all day, I felt a warm comfort meal was in order. I decided to make Tex-Mex Mac and Cheese. This was going to be a "wing-it" recipe, shoot from the hip. I am happy to announce that this was not a flop! It actually turned out really well. It was nice and spicy to warm Mike from the inside out!
What you need:
- 1 box of your favorite macaroni pasta (I used whole wheat shells)
- 2 lbs ground beef (roughly two lbs, mine was a little less)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 pack of taco seasoning
- 1 c water
- 2 tbs butter (or margarine)
- 2 tbs flour
- 2 c milk
- 2 1/2 c grated colby jack cheese (cheddar would be yummy too)
- 1/3 c jalapenos (if you don't like it spicy use less or admit all together)
- 1 sm can green chilies
- tortilla chips
Boil water in a large pot for the pasta. Get it started now because it takes SO long to get up to a boil!
Dice up the onion and garlic (try not to cry...it'll be okay)
Put into a greased (I just used PAM but, you can use oil) large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for roughly 4 minutes or until slightly soften.
Add the ground beef to the party and cook until you see no more pink.
kinda looks like dog food...
Drain any excess fat and put back on the stove. Add the taco seasoning and the water. Turn the heat onto low and stir occasionally. Now it is time for the cheese sauce!
Melt the butter in a med/large pot.
Add the flour and stir to mix.
The mixture will turn the consistency of play-doh. Cook for two minutes, stirring often.
Slowly add the milk as you whisk. Do it in stages, if you add the milk all at once you will have a lumpy roux (that would be no beuno!)
Add the cheese 1/2 cup at a time, don't add the next cup until the cheese is completely blended in.
Doing figure 8's in your sauce pan helps prevent lumps and gives you a really nice consistency.
When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and put back into the large pot.
Now it gets messy! Add the cheese and the beef into the pasta pot...
Dice the jalapenos
Add the green chilies and the jalapenos to the messy mix. Stir well to combine.
That is a delicious looking slop pot!
Put into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
Top with 1/2 c of cheese (or go wild and use more, cheese never hurt anyone!).
crumble about 15 tortilla chips and place on top
Put into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until all the cheese is melted and bubbly!
This is a good spin on an old classic. Mac and Cheese is one of those recipes that are really fun to play with the ingredients. Once you have the basic steps down, the possibilities are endless!
The tortilla chips add a really nice crunch to the dish. I like the different textures and flavors going on here.
My hungry man was very happy with this meal! We ate a LOT of it too! But, we couldn't finish it so, we had it for leftovers a few days later. I just stuck it back in the oven for about 25-30 minutes and it was delicious! The tortilla chips stayed crunch too! I thought they were going to be a soggy mess but, they proved me wrong!