Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cajun Mac 'n' Cheese

How can you improve on good, old Mac 'n' Cheese? Throw in some zesty Cajun seasonings for a can't-miss side dish you will be making again and again. When I saw the recipe for Cajun Mac 'n' Cheese over at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice I knew it would be a family favorite and I was right.

Cajun Mac 'n' Cheese
Recipe from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 and ½ teaspoon onion powder
1 and ½ teaspoon cayenne or 1 teaspoon peperoncino
1 and ½ teaspoon oregano
1 and ½ teaspoon thyme
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoon flour
2 cups half 'n' half or whole milk
8 ounces shredded or diced Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese
8 ounces shredded or diced Colby Jack cheese
Italian Bread Crumbs for topping
1 tablespoon Butter for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook macaroni to al dente.

Into a small bowl measure out the seasonings and combine. Set aside.

While the macaroni is cooking in a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan melt the butter on
low-medium heat, whisk in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes continuously whisking. Add the spice mixture and whisk into the flour mixture. Slowly add half 'n' half, continuously whisking. Bring to a slow simmer and continue to whisk for another 2-3 minutes, the milk should begin to thicken up. At this point add in the cheeses and whisk until melted. Remove from heat.

Spray a 2 quart casserole with baking spray; add macaroni. Pour béchamel over the macaroni.

Top with bread crumbs and dot with butter.

Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes until bubbly and top is golden.


Ben said...

Mac 'n cheese has so much potential! Too bad people get stuck in the same old recipe :( This is a nice twist.

Sophie said...

Just when you think Mac and Cheese can't get any better, it does. I bet the spices in this make it even more addicting :).