Chorizo Mac and Cheese

Saturday turned out to be a pretty relaxing day…did some chores around the apartment, went to the grocery store, went running, cooked dinner, and did some reading.

We ended up going grocery shopping around 2 pm – along with everyone else in the Lansing area it seemed.  What a zoo!  I should know better, but at least it’s done and I don’t have to go today.

One thing I was excited about yesterday – new socks! Does anyone else get excited about such simple things? 🙂

Fun, new socks!
Fun, new socks!

 

We were supposed to run 4-5 miles according to the training plan we are “following” but ended up just over 3.5 miles. Average pace was 9:13 though so that’s good considering how extremely windy it was.  Today’s 8-9 mile run should be better – it’s pretty sunny outside and supposed to a little bit warmer today than yesterday – though not much.  But the winds are lighter today so that should make a difference.

After the afternoon run yesterday, we came home and got started on dinner.  A delicious dinner at that! Macaroni and Cheese with Chorizo – yummy! I adapted the Amateur Gourmet’s recipe which was pretty easy – though def not a one pot meal; I used about 4 different pots/pans to make all the components!

Here’s the finished product:

Chorizo Mac & Cheese
Chorizo Mac & Cheese

You’ll want to make sure you add enough salt to the cheese sauce as our finished product was a little bland – the cotija cheese is salty, yes, so I was cautious with the salt, but it needed more.  However, at the table, instead of adding salt I added this:

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One of my favorite hot sauces – a little smoky and not too vinegary.  It’s pretty much good on anything, so why wouldn’t you douse your mac and cheese with it?

This morning I made more fresh squeezed OJ! The oranges this time were much juicier than last week as I got over 2 cups of juice from just 4 oranges.

Fresh Squeezed OJ
Fresh Squeezed OJ

Along with the OJ – in the coolest glasses (thanks Emily!)….

Sugar Skull Glasses - super cool
Sugar Skull Glasses – super cool

We had pancakes for breakfast – if you didn’t know, Noah B. is the resident Pancake Master in our household.  He mixes them up the best and I’m a little scared of the flipping so he’s always in charge of the p-cakes!  We’ve recently discovered this baking mix from King Arthur (though the grocery store price is about a dollar less than what you can get it for on the website):

1969184_10100407602813010_2053613878_n

So far, we’ve used it for pancakes, waffles, and the streusel coffee cake recipe on the side of the box.  That was delicious! We were using Bisquick Gluten Free mix for pancakes and that was good, but we think this mix makes pancakes that taste more like regular (non-gluten free) pancakes.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

Chorizo Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 6 – 8 oz fresh Mexican chorizo
  • 12 oz penne rigate pasta (I used gluten-free)
  • 4 oz Cotija cheese, grated (I used pre-packaged, grated as I could not find a block of it)
  • 1 1/2 C milk (I used skim as that’s what I had on hand)
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika (I used smoked)
  • 1/2 tsp. season salt
  • 1 1/4 C shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 scallions, minced

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly butter a 9-inch-square or similar-sized baking dish.
  2. Cook the chorizo in a medium sized frying pan for about 10 minutes until well-browned..  Break into bite sized pieces while cooking. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess grease.
  3. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until just al dente – do not overcook; you’ll want the pasta to have a bite to it still as it will continue to cook in the oven. Drain through a colander and pour into prepared baking dish and set aside.
  4. Mix the cooked chorizo and Cotija cheese in the baking dish with the pasta.
  5. Prepare the cheese sauce.
    • Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the milk starts to steam and tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan, turn off the heat.
    • Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the flour and stir with a flat-edge wooden paddle or whisk just until the roux begins to take on a light brown color, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, about 3 minutes.
    • Slowly add the milk, chili powder, cumin, and paprika stirring/whisking constantly until the sauce thickens enough to evenly coat the back of a spoon.
    • Remove from heat and add most of the cheddar cheese to the sauce–reserve a handful or so for topping–and stir until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir all around to coat. Top with scallions and reserved cheddar cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until crispy brown around edges. Allow the dish to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

If you want to double the recipe you can bake in a 9 X 13 pan.

Preparation time: 45 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Adapted from Amateur Gourmet’s recipe

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