I’ve been waiting for this day for awhile. It was too hot before, and I didn’t have buttermilk or I was down to just one shriveled chipotle pepper in the bottom of an improperly stored can at the back of the fridge. Or I was feeling self-conscious about my waistline, because I do that sometimes, and instead of joining a gym or sweating I abstain briefly from cheese.
But the stars have aligned, the sky’s clouded over, and I’m wearing lycra so that waistline issue isn’t at the forefront of my mind. And, we have all the things to make chipotle macaroni and cheese. If you’re looking for a healthy treat for this Meatless Monday, I suspect you’d be better off with Kraft, but it’s decadent, and it’s got good stuff in it so it’s not all butter fat and Cheddar.
It contains a lot of little bites of veggies; peppers, onions, and just a little tomato. You could add greens if you wanted to, or more peppers, or corn or beans, or cauliflower or broccoli, both of which are delicious, especially if you roast them first – anything you like, really. If I’m up to no good and want to make you do something for me, I might add bacon, but believe me when I say it doesn’t need it. It contains four cups of cheese.
So here you go. Possibly the world’s most decadent vegetarian recipe. Happy Meatless Monday. You may want to go for a run after this one.
Oh! I joined something called a Blog Carnival. It’s a Meatless Monday thing, and though I don’t yet know what it all means, and I don’t think there are corn dogs in it for me, it’s still sort of cool. Here it is. I’ll figure out the right way to do this soon enough. Anyway. On to the recipe!
Chipotle macaroni and cheese
(Serves four to six, probably with some leftover.)
- 4 cups dried macaroni
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cups chopped sweet or bell peppers (any colour you prefer – I had red and orange)
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 to 3 minced chipotle peppers (the kind that come in adobo sauce)
- 1 to 2 minced jalapeño peppers
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 tbsp. adobo sauce
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 cups buttermilk (ideally full-fat)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 cups grated cheese (such as a combination of sharp Cheddar and Monterrey Jack)
- Salt, to taste
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
Preheat your oven to 350°F, and grease a 9″x13″ pan.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add peppers,onion, chipotles, jalapeños, and garlic. Saute until onions have turned translucent and peppers are bright.
Add macaroni to the boiling water, and boil six to eight minutes, until al denté.
Add adobo, then flour to veggies and stir to incorporate. Add pepper and cumin. Then add buttermilk and regular milk, and stir frequently until thickened.
Drain macaroni. Set aside. Add three cups of the cheese to the pot. Stir to combine. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
Pour over drained macaroni, and add tomatoes. Stir well, and then pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until top is golden.
Serve hot! And don’t worry about the volume here. It looks like a lot. It IS a lot. But you can cut it into squares tomorrow and then fry it. Fried macaroni and cheese … best leftovers ever?