Spicy Mac & Cheese

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Spicy Mac & Cheese

Matt and I were watching the Best thing I’ve Ever Made: Comfort Food and when Sunny Anderson’s recipe came on for Spicy Mac & Cheese. Matt decided he wanted to help me make it and that he wanted it right away. Matt doesn’t spend too much time in the kitchen, so when he says he wants to help out I usually let him and try to supervise only and not take over (which can sometimes be a challenge for me in the kitchen). He even was responsible for making the list for the grocery and I let him do all the choosing when it came to the cheeses. He did a great job because (with just a tiny help from me) it came out delicious! So this recipe for sure is boy tested and wife approved! You should give it a try too:)

The original recipe called for something like 2 cups of heavy cream and I immediately nixed that idea. I told him there was PLENTY of cheese in the recipe and that it will taste just as great with 2% milk. I also told him that we could use Panko breadcrumbs for the top in place of making our own since we didn’t have any day old bread. At first he wasn’t too keen on that idea but after some explaining about fabulous breadcrumbs coming from day old bread he agreed that panko would be a better option too. I absolutely love a crunchy crust on Mac & Cheese and think that Panko has so far given me the best results! The top was perfectly brown and ridiculously crunchy! Oh, and don’t be too worried–the spiciness isn’t in a hot burn your mouth kind of way! It’s a much different heat from the dry mustard and the pepperjack cheese. A really delicious kind of heat.

The Ingredients:

Recipe adapted from Sunny Anderson’s Spicy Mac & Cheese 

  • 1 box elbow pasta, cooked until almost al dente
  • 8 ounces Cheddar, 1/2 cubed, 1/2 shredded
  • 8 ounces Colby cheese, cubed
  • 8 ounces Monterey pepper jack cheese, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk–I used 2% and it came out great 
  • 1/4 cup finely grated onions
  • Panko Bread crumbs
  • Cooking spray

How to:

Necessary equipment: 2-quart baking dish

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • In a large bowl, toss together the pasta with the cheese cubes and pour into the baking dish
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, nutmeg
  • Add the sour cream, egg, milk, and onions.
  • Pour over the pasta and cover with the shredded Cheddar
  • Bake uncovered until the top is just beginning to brown, about 35 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the panko bread cubes on top of the macaroni and cheese, spray breadcrumbs with cooking spray, and bake until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes more.
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