Bold South-Of-The-Border Baked Mac
(Today’s recipe comes with a chance to win a $20 Visa Gift Card. See entry details at the bottom of the post.)
Which recipes do you whip up without consulting a book, magazine or Pinterest board? You know the ones: Your true family favorites.
Have you ever been making one of those cherished dinners when a bold blast of inspiration hits?
That happened to me last week. After putting on some pasta to boil for our basic mac ‘n’ cheese, I reached into the fridge for the butter, milk and cheddar. But instead I grabbed the 3 Pepper Colby Jack from Boar’s Head.
The result was as simple to make as our basic mac but it was punched up with bold heat from the cheese, crunch from the tortilla chips and freshness from some diced tomatoes and green onion. An entirely new cherished recipe was born!
Bold South-Of-The-Border Baked Mac
This is where basic mac ‘n’ cheese meets bold spicy flavor. It’s simple and comforting but with a nice zing. The addition of cooked chicken breast to the mac makes it a complete meal especially if served alongside a refreshing salad of equal parts diced avocado and cucumber tossed with chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, salt and pepper.
- 1 lb cavatelli or elbow macaroni
- 2 and 1/2 cups milk (fat-free works just as well as full fat here)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 and 1/2 cups Boar’s Head Bold 3 Pepper Colby Jack
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
- 1/4 tsp coarse black pepper or more to taste
- 3/4 lb chopped Boar’s Head Bold Chipotle Chicken (optional)
- 4 ounces of tortilla chips (about 40 chips)
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cook the pasta according to its package directions. If the pasta finishes cooking before everything else is ready to go, no worries. Drain it, return it to the pot and cover it. The pasta will be fine waiting there for a few minutes until everything else is ready to go.
- While the pasta cooks, measure the milk into a microwave-safe measuring cup. Warm it in the microwave until really steamy, 3-4 minutes. Put the tortilla chips into a resealable plastic bag. Remove the air from the bag, seal it and smash the chips until all pieces are smaller than 1/2″. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until it forms a smooth paste. Cook, stirring continuously, until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Splash in about 1/4 cup of the steamed milk and whisk until smooth. Add a little more milk and whisk, then a little more milk and whisk. One more time before drizzling in the remaining milk. Stir well. Place the saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring continuously until the milk begins to bubble. Remove from the heat. Add the 3 Pepper Colby Jack. Stir until it has melted in and the sauce is an even orange color.
- Transfer the cooked pasta to a 9×13 inch baking pan or a large casserole dish. Pour on the sauce and add the chicken, if using. Stir to combine. Sprinkle the tortilla crumbs over top and bake until opening the oven door fills the kitchen with the smell of toasting corn chips and the sound of bubbling cheese, about 15-20 minutes. Top with the tomatoes and green onions before serving.
The above recipe was adapted from Mark Bittman’s more basic recipe for Baked Macaroni and Cheese. Heating the milk in the microwave to speed things up as well as all the South-Of-The-Border twists are my own.
Boar’s Head Bold $20 Visa Gift Card Giveaway
Boar’s Head has teamed up with me on this post to do an awesome $20 Visa Gift Card Giveaway. Fill out the Rafflecopter below for multiple chances to win. For instance, using the Rafflecopter you can follow Cook the Story or Boar’s Head on twitter or you can use the copter to tweet about Boar’s Head Bold. If you already follow Cook the Story on Facebook then you can make an additional entry in the Rafflecopter below. Ditto for Boar’s Head. If you don’t already follow us, no worries. Click the Likes in the Rafflecopter and you will then be able to proceed and enter the contest.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And since you’re in the mood for entering contests, let me also tell you about a sweepstakes that Boar’s Head is currently running.
Now through June 30th, Boar’s Head fans have the chance to win a getaway to one of the four regions that that inspired the Bold line by visiting DiscoverBoldFlavor.com, registering for a virtual passport and collecting five stamps. Bold-seekers can collect four of the stamps by exploring the regions that inspired the Boar’s Head Bold line at DiscoverBoldFlavor.com and the fifth stamp by visiting any deli or grocery store to find a promotion code. Once all five stamps are collected, registrants will be entered for a chance to win the all-expense paid getaway for two to the winner’s choice of Jamaica, Veracruz, Mexico, Brazil, or Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Other prizes include:
- Daily Prizes – Each day of the sweepstakes, four $25 gift cards to purchase Boar’s Head Bold will be randomly awarded to those who register for a passport online at DiscoverBoldFlavor.com.
- Instant Win – The first 1,000 registrants to complete their online virtual passport with all 5 stamps collected will receive a $10 iTunes gift card.
Check out www.DiscoverBoldFlavor.com to enter to win and learn more about Bold.
Disclosure: Boar’s Head provided me with the gift card used as a giveaway in this post. The opinions that I’ve expressed about their product are my own and have not been influenced by this compensation.