Mexi-Macaroni and Cheese
I had seen this recipe on How Sweet It Is and thought it would probably go over well with my boys - we all love pretty much anything with cheese! :) We make a very simple macaroni dish with ground beef and canned tomatoes and I thought this would be a bit of a step up from that, but similar so that it wouldn't seem completely unfamiliar since my boys can be picky about things that are completely new or different!
I started with my counter full of ingredients: wheat flour, frozen corn, butter, minced garlic, red pepper, onion, parmesan, macaroni, pre-cooked chicken, monterey jack and cheddar cheese, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, milk, and panko bread crumbs.
I diced up a whole red pepper.
Followed by an onion.
Those made their way into the pre-heated olive oil in the nonstick skillet.
I measured out a cup of frozen corn, rinsed it in warm water to thaw and then drained it.
The pasta had finished cooking at this point, so that was drained.
The chicken mixture was thoroughly mixed and heated through.
I added the chicken and veggies to the pasta and moved onto the cheesy sauce!!
Started with a little bit of butter melted in the pan (I just washed and dried the one that had held the chicken and veggies so my sink wouldn't end up piled SUPER high with dirty dishes after this one)!
In went the flour to the melted butter.
I made the roux and let that cook for a minute.
Next came the milk! I let that come to a gentle simmer.
Then came the beautiful assembly line of cheeses! Cheddar, monterey jack and parmesan... mmm.... cheesy!!
After taste testing the sauce and the chicken mixture, I decided I could add a little more flavor and put some chili powder into the cheese mixture (I went a little light on seasonings for the chicken mixture since I knew I could add more but if I made it too hot or spicy no one would enjoy it - I'm a huge spice wimp!).
Then everything got mixed together gently and smoothed out evenly.
Finished off with some panko breading and a sprinkling of monterey jack cheese - then into the oven!
makes one 9x13 casserole dish
1 red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs