For this month's Mac of the Month I am delighted to present you with Queso Mac and Cheese!
First of all, how are we already on APRIL's mac of the month? Wasn't it December yesterday? At least we're on our way to warmer weather...except for the insane snow storm we had last night in Calgary -- WHAT!
Anyway, this queso mac and cheese combines all the amazing flavor in a queso dip with the creamy goodness of a classic mac and cheese dish.
How to Make Queso Mac and Cheese
- Cook macaroni to package directions in salted water. Drain and set aside.
- Start by grating your cheese and setting it aside - don't use pre-shredded cheese! I outline why it's best to shred your own cheese here.
- Now, dice your jalapenos (if they aren't already), your onion, and tomato, and mince two cloves of garlic.
- In a large saucepan, you'll melt your butter (the base of your roux) and once it's melted, add the jalapenos, onion, and garlic cloves to the butter. Add the mustard powder, salt, and pepper and mix well. Stir often, and let cook for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
- Now, add the flour to the melted butter mixture. Once the butter and flour are mixed and begin to form a paste, SLOWLY add the milk and cream. Stir constantly!
- Once the roux is gently bubbling and has thickened up a little bit, turn off the heat. Now, add your cheese and stir gently. When you turn off the heat and just use the remaining heat from the roux to melt the cheese it helps prevent the cheese from getting stringy.
- As the cheese melts in the roux, add your diced green chilies and diced tomatoes to the mix.
- Once all the cheese has melted and the roux is complete (at this point it will basically be like a big pan of queso - yum!) combine the queso/roux with the cooked macaroni.
- Stir well and serve hot!
Not much to it, hey?
If you keep the extra mac and cheese in the fridge, you'll notice it thickens up. But once you reheat it, it melts again nicely and gets pretty much the same texture as it had to begin!
Another thing to love about this recipe?
You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like! No need to cry spicy "it hurts so good" tears if you're not in the mood for that. But if you're up for a little delicious punishment, you can up the jalapenos and green chilies!
Oh - and if you're like me and have trouble finding diced green chilies in the grocery store, look near the taco supplies! Or if you're particularly ambitious, you can even make your own diced green chilies.
Queso Mac and Cheese
Queso Mac and Cheese
- 3 cups uncooked macaroni
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup cream
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper or more, to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt or more, to taste
- 2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
- ½ large onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon diced jalapenos, seedless more or less, to taste. Two jalapenos will yiled about 2 tbsp. of diced jalapenos.
- 2 cups cheddar sharp or old
- 1 cup Monterey jack cheese with jalapeno
- 2 cans diced green chilies equivalent to 8 oz.
- 1 large tomato diced
- In a large pot of salted water, cook your macaroni to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Grate cheese, diced vegetables, and set aside. Begin to melt 4 tablespoon (¼ cup) of butter in a saucepan on medium heat.
- When the butter is melted, add the minced garlic, diced onions, and jalapeno, ground mustard, salt, and pepper. Cook on medium-high until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Stir regularly.
- Next, add the flour to the melted butter mixture. Once the butter and flour are mixed and begin to form a paste, SLOWLY add the milk and cream. Stir constantly!
- Once the roux is gently bubbling and has thickened up a little bit, turn off the heat. Now, add your cheese and stir gently, allowing the remaining heat in the roux to melt the cheese - this stops it from getting stringy.
- As the cheese melts in the roux, add your diced green chilies and diced tomatoes to the mix. Once all the cheese has melted and the roux is complete, combine the queso/roux with the cooked macaroni.Stir well and serve hot!
While you're here, you might want to check out some of my other Mac of the Month recipes!
xo - C