Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Spicy and Smokey Mac

So as you can tell from previous posts (Mac Attack!) , The Husband has a thing for Mac and Cheese. And as this past week has been rather challenging for him, he took his Internal Medicine Boards (he has spent all of his free time since starting Fellowship studying) and is on call for the fourth weekend in a row. So, when I came across this recipe I thought "Self, you should do it for The Husband!".

It also helped that there was some Habanero up in here; and we all know how much I love me some spice. When I told The Husband about it, he was a little worried at first, but I assured him that it would all work out well and that he would not have a five alarm fire in his mouth.

For those of you who have no spice tolerance, this is not the recipe for you. However, for those of you who delve into "Medium" salsa's and don't sweat, this is a perfect recipe. The habaneros are seeded and cooked alongside jalapenos and onions until they're really soft and sweet. The creaminess of the cheeses really do a great job of balancing the spice and of course the smokey andouille is a perfect protein addition.

I changed some things, removed some things but in general, the recipe doesn't take all that long to make. You can put it in ramekins and serve individually, or do what I did and put it in a large pan; that makes it a lot easier to put in to-go containers. The Husband ate it for lunch the next two days and was a happy happy man. I'd like to say it made up for the crappy board exams, but let's be honest, nothing can make up for that. It did, however, totally make his night.


1 Medium Onion, minced
1  JalapeƱos, minced
1 Habanero, seeded and minced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 LB Pasta Cooked (I prefer the bigger pasta's like Cellini or Campanelle)
4 Andouille Sausage links, grilled and finely chopped
8 OZ Cold-pack Cheddar Pub Cheese (this was in the deli section of my grocery store)
2 Cup Shredded Sharp cheddar
1 Cup Milk
1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs

Preheat your over to 400. Try to time it so that your pasta is finished around the time your pepper/onion mixture is done. The hot pasta will make stirring the cheeses in a lot easier. And remember when you're cutting the peppers, try not to touch them. If you have gloves, use those, if not then please avoid the inside of the habanero. Your eyes will thank me for it later.

In a saute pan with olive oil, add onions, jalapenos and habanero and cook until very soft. This should take 15 minutes. You will be able to tell because the mixture will become very fragrant and the onions will become very sweet. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional five minutes.

When the onion/pepper mixture is done, remove it from the pot and add it to the cut sausage; mix thoroughly. 

While your pasta is still hot, add milk and the Cold-Packed Cheddar and stir until the Cheddar is melted. Then add one Cup of Shredded Cheddar and stir until melted. When the pasta is totally covered, add the sausage/onion/pepper mixture and stir until totally incorporated. Taste, it *may* need a little salt. I didn't end up using any, but depending on your cheese and your sausage, you may need it.

In your pan, add the mac and cheese, take the breadcrumbs and remaining cup of cheddar and spread over the top of the pan.

Cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is crispy and the cheese is bubbling.

Serve and enjoy!!

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