The Hawk Eye

Kickin’ mac and cheese

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After making the green chili mac and cheese, I realized it was a little too easy. Shocking, I know. I wanted to do something with mac and cheese that would require more than one ingredient, and would really transform the basic flavor. I found what I was looking for when I found a recipe for mac and cheese with four add-ins.

Since I’d already experimented with adjusting boxed mac and cheese, I wanted to try the add-ins with mac and cheese made from scratch. I only needed a few ingredients overall:

  • 1 pound pasta, any shape
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cheese, like cheddar, monterey jack or colby
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ can Rotel tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped chicken
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin

I started off by boiling the pasta and setting it aside once it was cooked. Then, I got started on making the cheese sauce base by warming one cup of the milk in a saucepan on medium heat and mixing in flour to the remaining half cup. Once the milk on the stove was warm, I stirred in the milk/flour mixture and whisked until it thickened. After turning the heat down, I started mixing in handfuls of cheese, making sure it all melted into the sauce. This is where I decided to throw in my special ingredients: chicken, canned tomatoes, chili powder and cumin. After making sure all of the ingredients melded together, I poured the sauce over the pasta, covering all of it.

Some people might say this is a whole new dish straying too far from mac and cheese, but, to me, it’s still a dressed up version of the staple dish. Overall, the dish was very flavorful and the addition of the tomatoes added a new level of taste. Making mac and cheese from scratch instead of using the boxed version was a good idea because I’m not sure the add-ins would have melded into the packaged cheese sauce as well as they did with the homemade one. This would be a great addition to any lunch or dinner. It’s perfect for my school lunch purposes because it does well even after being refrigerated. If you’re looking for a hearty, flavorful pasta recipe that’s durable, this is a good choice.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Kickin’ mac and cheese”

  1. Hawk Debate on December 5th, 2017 4:43 PM

    The queso mac and cheese looks awesome! What if you chilled it, formed it into balls and dipped in crushed doritos and then fried it as mac and cheese queso balls?

  2. Syeda Rizvi on December 6th, 2017 1:21 PM

    Thank you! That’s a good idea. I’ll give it a try!

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