November 04, 2010

Chipotle Spiced Beef Macaroni and Cheese

I remember my 16 year old self laying on my twin size bed with a Cosmopolitan magazine and a package of mint Oreos reading over a recipe for what they considered to be a roasted chicken recipe sure to bring on a proposal. I definately am NOT a girly girl in any way, shape, or form. The idea of being married made my throat constrict and my palms to sweaty. There were no countless hours spent daydreaming the details of my big day.

Here I am now, 23 years old, still nowhere near ready to take the plunge but would love this ring. Still no daydreams of the big day other than a quick drive to the courthouse, a piece of paper, and then a nice vacation centered around food in Hawaii. Mr. Sideline Chef and I have been together for almost 3 1/2 years and have had quite the whirlwind of a romance. I was working at a hotel in Washington and he was a guest. We fell in love. Due to fraternization rules I made the decision to quit my job and follow my heart. He was living here in Texas and decided to move me back with him. 3 months into our relationship we found out I was pregnant. We couldn't have been happier.

I joke about my Chipotle Spiced Macaroni and Cheese recipe being my sort of "engagement chicken" recipe because I think the real reason he tricked me into getting pregnant and moved me here to Texas with him is because he wouldn't know how to make it.

It's a dinner I make for him once every two weeks because it takes up three of my four burners on the stove, cheese gets caked onto everything, and due to laziness I stand cleaning dishes longer than need be the following day. When will I ever learn to just clean up after dinner?

This view never tires... ahhhh!

Mr. Sideline Chef has now once again regained his title of Mr. Pretend Chef for the 8 minutes, give or take, that he spends whisking the cheese sauce to give my poor tired arms a break. Hello!?! What girl wouldn't go crazy over watching their man in the kitchen with them and getting to watch his muscular tattooed forearms and the occasional joking butt slaps and kisses? You burn the sauce one time and they think you can't handle the task at hand. If it gets them in the kitchen with you then by all means... it's worth burning the sauce! Haha!

*I claim this recipe makes 8-1 cup servings, that is unless you have a Mr. Sideline Chef sized appetite, then, it only serves a toddler sized portion of just macaroni and cheese, a portioned out 1 cup serving for the Pretend Chef, and then he takes his dinner portion and fills up, punishes himself by going back for seconds and even thirds, and then wakes up dreaming about it all day at work, and finishes it off before you even get a hello kiss.

Try it for your man and see if you get a surprise vacation, kitchen goodies, "mommy and daddy" time, a super special surprise back rub and foot massage... should I keep going on... this recipe has been known to bring about all of these perks to the chef. The ring is still questionable. Maybe I'll have to just keep making it and see if it holds true to being "The One" recipe.

Chipotle Spiced Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 8 (1 cup) servings*

Stars of the Show:

  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound of pasta shells - I especially love the small shells because I am a small Chelle. Haha! Get it. My name is Rochelle and I'm only 4'11", haha! I crack myself up. That was my one for the day.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 cups milk - We use nonfat milk and it still turns out creamy and delicious.
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth - I still have yet to learn the difference between the two.
  • 4 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers, diced with seeds - Mr. Sideline Chef likes it H-E-Double Hockey Sticks hot so he would even request a third if I wasn't eating any of the dish.
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 8 oz cream cheese

And Action:
  1. Cook the pasta shells according to the package directions. Drain well and return the pasta to the pot.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, I recommend getting the meat going first. Brown the ground beef with the chipotle pepper(s), paprika, and cayenne pepper. Once it is done cooking, drain off the excess liquid. If you skip this step you will have a pool of fat sitting on top of your macaroni. Get the cheese sauce going. This requires a watchful eye and constant stirring. Roll up your sleeves or get your man in the kitchen and make him work for his meal.
  3. Heat a large sauce pot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and butter until it melts down. Raise the heat a bit and whisk in the flour. Whisk together until the roux bubbles up and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and chicken broth and raise the heat a bit higher to bring the sauce to a quick boil. Once it bubbles, drop the heat back down to a simmer, and stir CONSTANTLY for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cream cheese and stir until completely melted. Add the grated cheddar cheese and continue stirring until melted. Once completely melted turn off the heat.
  5. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and mix in the ground beef mixture.
  6. Be prepared for a hearty and comforting meal that is sure to please and be pleased... haha... I took it there. ENJOY!!!

9 comments:

Susi said...

That last picture made me crack up! LOL Great looking recipe which I'm bookmarking since I know my family would eat this in a heartbeat. Might have to double this for us though :o) Thanks for sharing!

Pretend Chef said...

Susi - When it comes to pictures this is the only time my guy acts silly. He's normally a cut and dry kinda man. This recipe is the only one I've made in the 3 1/2 years we've been together that even gets requested. Sad. I know. If you double this I hope you have pots and pans big enough. I know I can barely fit this amount into what we have. When you make it you'll have to stop back and tell me how it went for your family.

Karen said...

I love mac and cheese of any kind, but this one with chipotle sounds extra good. What a fantastic dish!

Pretend Chef said...

Karen - This macaroni and cheese is everything and more!

~Lisa~ said...

What a happy man and a tasty recipe. Love the story especially the butt slaps and kisses hehe (= You guys are too cute.

Roxane said...

I really enjoy reading the Pretend Chef's Blogspot. Her food creations with Gorton's and Ortega's products look scrumptious! The 'lil chef looks like she could really please a crowd with her tempting creations. Our household enjoys Gorton's Battered Fish (I believe no sea life was harmed during the battering... Gorto...n don't play like that!) AND let's not forget the wonderful Ortega Taco Shells. My favorite are the crisp taco shells heated in the microwave for thirty-seven seconds (always thirty-seven...it must have been a great year for me) and they are hot, steamy, and ready to fill with your favorite ingredients. Happy Cooking!

Alexandria said...

awwww...that was sweet of him to whisk for you. Yoour mac and cheese looks crazy cheesy and delicious. I am a sucker for spicy recipes so this is right up my alley. Although I am married I can always use a recipe to keep him around lol. I will totally be trying this....thanks for sharing! :)

Pretend Chef said...

Lisa - I love it when he's in the kitchen with me but standing in a designated place that I tell him he can be, haha, like whisking the cheese sauce for 8 minutes straight or doing dishes! The kitchen is my domain he can have the couch and tv.

Roxane - I'm happy to hear no fish were harmed during the battering although that does sound a little fishy to me. Contacting SPCA now. Haha! Make sure you head back to the Gorton's/Ortega post and repost your comment there! Thank you!

Alexandria - If you make this you'll have to let me know how your family likes it. He'll be a lucky man!

Lisa said...

It's so funny, I was just thinking about spicy macaroni and cheese today and wondering if there was a good recipe out there so I could try it in the future. Then, as I'm looking at your site, I happen to see it on the sideline and, well, I guess this is the one.

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