Friday, February 12, 2010

Green Chile Bacon Baked Macaroni with Significant Cheese

I bet a lot of you never thought you'd see the day when I made macaroni on my blog. I'm supposed to all "gourmet" and junk. La-teee-dah. Well, I wouldn't be an all American Gal if I didn't somewhere on my blog and in my freezer meal collection actually have some form of macaroni and cheese? Am I right? Yankee-doodle-doo! It's Freezer Friday and I am actually a little under the weather today. I want something comforting. Oh and, my ding-a-dang kiddos wanted macaroni and I just so happened to have this little frozen casserole pop in my freezer. Problem...most of my freezer meals call for "defrosting 24 hours"...well what do I do when that is the case? Pop. I just pop it out of the foil container and into my trusty stoneware microwave safe thingy-ma-Bob.
Hello Bob. See the ice in it's hair? Looks like New York City right now with all those blizzards. Yikes. Or a dramatic movie poster for Titanic...with Leonardo DiCaprio about to plunge into the icy depths of the Atlantic much to the sorrowful stunning red head holding his frozen fingers. I bet she wished she could've just "Popped this bad boy in the microwave on defrost for 10 minutes..." I'm just saying...
Then follow the directions for baking.
But wait, I guess I should give you the recipe for the luscious saucy macaroni with significant cheese and chunks of bacon nestled between tender noodles and caressed with roasted green chile, all topped with a light crunchy tortilla topping. Note to self...this may not fit into my normal "light and healthy" mold. My humble apologies well in advance. For the rest of you who sometimes delve into a hearty macaroni you the recipe now would be good, because then I can bake it. See it's still frozen a bit. I break it up once it's defrosted so it reaches the sides of the new pan.
Recipe. Here we go.
Tess'Chile Bacon Baked Macaroni with Significant Cheese
1lb elbow macaroni, cooked 7 minutes (yes, that's way undercooked...but you'll be glad)
1/2 medium onion
1 clove fresh pressed garlic
4 oz. bacon, uncooked, chopped
1 1/2 tsp Pampered Chef chipotle chile rub (or 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder, 1 tsp dry cilantro)
1/4 tsp cumin
6 T all purpose flour
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups milk
8 oz. shredded jack cheese
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 small can roasted diced green chile
1 cup crushed tortilla chips (restaurant style works best)
In a large one gallon pot, saute the onion in with the bacon until both are cooked through. Add the garlic and cook for one or two minutes. There should be bacon fat in the pan. Add the flour and stir and cook over medium heat about 3 minutes. Add the seasoning, chicken stock, and milk. Stir well and simmer about 15 minutes until the sauce is thick and creamy. Do not add the cheese yet!! Cooking cheese in the sauce will make the cheese sauce really grainy. You want it to be creamy and smooth. Right?
Remove sauce pan from the heat. Mix in the noodles, jack cheese and green chile. Taste it and add salt or pepper if needed. Yea, I know...the cheese will not be melted all the way, but when you bake it, it will melt. I swear.
Now, this makes 2 casseroles that serve 6 each. If you have a smaller family it can easily make 4 loaf size macaroni and cheese dinners. YES! 4 dinners! If you have teenage boys, one 12 serving casserole should do...for the next hour or so. Better double the recipe. I spread out the noodle mixture between the two casseroles and then divide the shredded sharp cheddar over the top then sprinkle with a little more chipotle rub or seasoning of choice.
At this point you can bake one for dinner tonight and freeze the second...or just freeze the whole wad. Whatever you want. I top mine with crushed tortilla chips. They get soggy in the freezer but will re-crisp when baked. To freeze, cover tightly with foil. Cool in the fridge and then freeze up to 2 months.
To serve: Defrost 24 hours (or ya-da-ya-da what we talked about at the beginning of this post).
Bake covered 375 degrees 35 minutes, then uncover and bake 10-15 more minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.
12 serving pan: Once defrosted, bake 400 degrees, covered for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 minutes more.
loaf size pan: Once defrosted, bake covered 375 degrees 25 minutes, uncover and bake 10 minutes more.
Now I will slip into my beet-nick poetry reading:
What of the chile mac? (with reverence)
What of the chile mac?
Silence evermore.
Swoon dramatically. Collapse.
There you go.


Unknown said...

you my dear have been around Ace 14 years too

Chef Tess said...

What was your first clue? The Beet-nick poetry reading or the use of macaroni and cheese in a real meal? Hee hee.

Anonymous said...

Great recipe! Loved, loved, loved it! We are all about our green chiles. This is our new fave for mac and cheese lovers. Thank you!

Unknown said...

Seriously wanting this now...