There are days when all we need is the simple joy of comfort food; food that is filled with fat, cholesterol, and an overabundance of flavor; food that compels us to betray our oath to the gym and feel ashamed by it later on. Today was one of those days. What better comfort food is there than baked Mac & Cheese? Sure Mashed Potatoes can fill the void in our lives and cheesecake can hit that sweet spot in a way that no man ever could, but Mac & Cheese – I mean that creamy homemade goodness made with love and care – fills us better than many of the other creations we could possibly think of. For that reason alone I put on my chef’s hat and went to town, delivering yet another installment of Decidedly Delicious.
2 ½ Cups Crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos
1 ½ lbs. Pasta
1/3 Cup 1% Milk
½ lb. Mac & Cheese Ends
1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash Southwestern Chipotle Seasoning
1 Tbsp. Margarine
1 Tbsp. Canola Oil
4 Slices of Muenster Cheese
8 to 10oz of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Just like everything else I’ve made, this recipe calls for a little creativity with some of my favorite ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large pot half way with warm water and place on high heat. When the water begins to boil, pour in one tablespoon of canola oil and one and a half pounds of pasta. Boil the pasta for ten minutes or until it reaches the tenderness that you desire, making sure to stir it occasionally.
While the pasta is cooking find a small saucepan and place it on medium heat. In the saucepan melt one tablespoon of margarine and add one third cup of one percent milk. Add in one half pound of mac & cheese ends which you can get from your local supermarket. Usually the deli will package up the bits and pieces of cheese that are left over and try to sell them instead of throwing them away. The packages are usually mixed and give you a variety of cheeses at a very low price. Melt the cheeses on medium heat, stirring frequently, for about five minutes or until you have a semi thick (although smooth) cheese sauce. Add in one tablespoon of Mrs. Dash Southwestern Chipotle seasoning and stir until it is evenly mixed into the sauce.
When the pasta has finished cooking, place it into a strainer/colander and rinse thoroughly. While the pasta is cooling for a bit, place half a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos in a bowl and crush until you are left with only small flakes. Then shred your four slices of Muenster cheese and mix with your crushed Doritos.
Find a large baking pan and coat the sides with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the pasta into the pan with the cheese sauce and eight to ten ounces of shredded cheddar cheese and stir until evenly distributed. Spread the Dorito and Muenster mixture on top of the pasta and place on the middle rack in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes.
When those thirty minutes are up you’ll have a creamy and crunchy baked Mac & Cheese with a Chipotle kick to it.
For more of my culinary creations, check out my Decidedly Delicious Category on the right hand side of the page. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think about this recipe.
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry