Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. Tex-Mex Mac N' Cheese

  2. 8 ounces uncooked large elbow macaroni

  3. 4 quarts water

  4. 1 tablespoon salt

  5. 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

  6. 1 1/2 cups onion, minced

  7. 1 tablespoon garlic, minced

  8. 1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest

  9. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  10. 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce (or to taste)

  11. 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  12. 1/2 teaspoon celery salt

  13. 1/2 cup all purpose flour

  14. 1 quart heavy cream

  15. 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano

  16. 2 tablespoons freshly minced cilantro (stems only)

  17. 4 cups Mexican blend cheese

  18. 2 cups queso blend cheese

  19. 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

  20. 1 teaspoon chile powder

  21. 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

  22. 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

  23. 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, chopped

  24. dash of salt

  25. Garnish

  26. 1 cup sour cream

  27. 2 teaspoons cilantro leaves, chopped

  28. 1 tablespoon green onions (light green portion), chopped

  29. 1/2 teaspoon lime zest, grated

  30. Butter the bottom and sides of a large ceramic or glass-baking dish:

  31. 10"x

  32. 20"x

  33. 2 deep. Position oven rack to the center position in the

  34. oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  35. Melt butter in 4 quart, heavy-duty, non-stick pot over medium low

  36. heat. Add onion, garlic and lime zest and sweat over medium-low

  37. heat for 1-2 minutes - do not allow this to brown. Add Worcestershire

  38. and Tabasco sauce and cook for 30 seconds, scraping up any browned

  39. bits in the bottom of the pan. Add cumin and celery salt. Stir in

  40. flour and cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes, continuously scraping

  41. the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Whisk in cream until

  42. mixture is smooth and bring it up to a low simmer. Add oregano and cilantro. Stirring frequently, cook cream sauce over low heat for 15 minutes. Cream will reduce and sauce will thicken to about volume. Stir in Mexican blend cheese until thoroughly melted.

  43. While sauce is reducing: In a separate large pot, bring 4 quarts

  44. of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Cook corn macaroni according

  45. 7-8 minutes

  46. a little firm (al dente). Drain and set aside - reserving 1/2 cup

  47. cooking water. (This can be done while the cream sauce is reducing.)

  48. Carefully stir cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce until combined,

  49. adding the 1/2 cup of cooking water to thin the sauce a bit. Very

  50. carefully, pour entire hot mixture into baking dish and lightly

  51. smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.

  52. Combine butter and chile powder in a microwave safe dish (large

  53. enough to hold dry ingredients); melt butter in microwave on "high"

  54. for 30 seconds, or until melted. Stir butter and add Panko breadcrumbs,

  55. cornmeal, pepitas and salt. Mix together with a fork until crumbs

  56. are moist.

  57. Sprinkle a thick layer of the queso blend cheese evenly over the

  58. top of the dish, and then finish with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake

  59. uncovered in the center position of the oven for 30-45 minutes,

  60. until cheese is bubbly and the top is a light golden brown.

  61. Blend sour cream with cilantro, green onions and lime zest. Garnish

  62. each serving with a dollop of flavored cream cheese.


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