Thursday, February 25, 2010
I was inspired to create a good spicy macaroni & cheese dish after my husband and I tasted a delicious macaroni & cheese, served with a spicy duck rilette on Valentine's Day at a local Brooklyn restaurant called the Jakewalk. Initially, I was going to do mine with a duck rilette also (even though duck rilette could perhaps be the one thing less healthy than mac & cheese!). However, that is going to have to wait for another day. For tonight's recipe, I decided to use primarily pepperjack cheese to add some heat and pepper-flavor. I also added heat with cayenne pepper, while using tomato mainly for texture and color. The ancho chile powder adds a smokiness to the overall flavor, as well as color to the dish.
This dish is surprisingly easy to make. I made enough for two nights at least, mainly because I seem to think I am cooking for an army of people, rather just for two. Also, the duck wasn't missed at all - this dish had enough kick and spice to steal its own spot in the limelight.
Sasha's Spicy Ancho Chile Mac & Cheese
1 lb box fusilli pasta
4 T butter, melted
1/3 cup flour
3 cups skim milk
1 tsp cayenne pepper
8 oz pepper jack cheese, grated
3 oz cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup panko bread crumbs, plus extra on top
2 diced tomatoes
2 tsp ancho chile powder
2 sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper to taste
I had enough to fill my heart-shaped Emile Henry casserole dish, but also some extra which I used to fill my set of ramekins. I guess I'll be eating macaroni & cheese for lunch tomorrow . . . and the day after that . . .