Lunches — By Ben on 22 May 2008
Mac and Cheese on Steroids


This is going to be a short post. I am really tired right now because I cooked all day yesterday and today for a fund raiser I was invited to participate in. I will post some pictures tomorrow. But I wanted to post this mac and cheese recipe tonight for Ruth’s blogging event Presto Pasta Night. I am really hooked with that event now :)

I must confess that before yesterday I had never made mac and cheese. I’ve had some really good mac and cheese at Darrin’s place before, though. His roommate, Chrisp, makes some amazing redneck food. He laughs when I tell him that his food is a piece of redneck heaven. Anyway, I decided to make mac and cheese for the first time for lunch yesterday, but it had to add my personal touch, right? What I got was some kind of Mac and Cheese in steroids, sooo delicious!

Mac and cheese is not the healthiest food out there, but I tried to keep the bad ingredients to the minimum. You don’t need a recipe for mac and cheese, do you? This is all I did:

  1. I cooked 1/2 pound macaroni noodles al dente. I preheated the oven to 400ºC.
  2. In a large skillet I sauteed 1/2 chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves in olive oil until translucent. I added 1 pound of ground turkey and spiced it up with salt, ground black pepper, oregano and basil. I cooked it until brown.
  3. I mixed 1/4 cup of spread (the one that claims to be 43% less fat) with 1/4 cup of flour in a saucepan over medium heat. When the spread and the flour where blended I added 2 cups of skim milk, 8 ounces of pepper jack cheese, 1 TBSP mustard, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp crushed red peppers, salt and black ground pepper. I cooked the sauce for 10 minutes stirring constantly.
  4. I mixed the noodles and ground beef in a baking dish, then added the cheese sauce and mixed it all well.
  5. In a small bowl I mixed 1/2 cup of cornmeal, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, some garlic powder, ground basil leaves, ground parsley about 2 tsp of sesame seeds and a pinch of ginger and nutmeg. I sprinkled this mixture over the noodles to serve as crust. I baked it for 20 minutes until the crust was turning brown and the sauce was boiling.

To feel less guilty about this lunch I served it with steamed broccoli and corn kernels. It was so delicious that I had seconds and thirds. I love American comfort food. I just need to find a “healthier” way to cook it. How do you like your mac and cheese?

Buen provecho!

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About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(10) Readers Comments

  1. I never thought to put cinnamon in mac & cheese. Or a cornmeal topping. I’ll have to try this!

  2. A most unusual Mac and Cheese. But it sounds great. I find this varies by cultures. For expample the Black community cooks it diffrent. Here we bake it in a custard,cheese, and butter base. Its really rich and good. Several types of cheese are used but it has that rich custrad base. I like to drizzle black truffle oil on our slices to take it up a notch. CS loves it.

  3. I like your twist on mac & cheese Ben. I like mine with broccoli thrown in for good measure:D

  4. It does look awesome. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  5. Wow amigo! Who needs steroids when you have this! Looks really good Ben. I love the “twists” you’re applying to a lot of your cooking lately. Keep it up!

  6. Que rico!!!!

  7. BEN…two words….KICK ASS! I love the cheese, onions in the bechamel and pepperjack cheese? Ummmm!

  8. I was with you all the way, buddy, until you mentioned the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg….I dunno about that. But maybe I will give it a try..we love mac-n-cheese in this house!

  9. Ben, you’re a genius–that looks so good! And very comforting. How do i like mac and cheese? Cheeeeesey.

  10. I have not made mac and cheese in a while. This one looks really good.

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