Macaroni and cheese is a very classic American dish. According to Wiki knowledge, macaroni and cheese was invented by Thomas Jefferson, who, in the variant told by Alton Brown of Good Eats, upon failing to receive an Italian pasta-making machine, designed his own machine, made the macaroni, and had the cook put liberal quantities of York cheddar and bake it as a casserole.
I had my first macaroni and cheese five years ago (during the initial days of getting to know US food), when one of my friend’s aunt sent boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese to make at home. I liked the concept of making a meal from a box and also the convenience of getting 2 boxes for 99 cents.
For a while I was under the impression that macaroni and cheese can be made only out of the box (silly me). That’s when I watched Rachel Ray making mac & cheese from scratch and I realized that I have been eating chemicals all these days. Since then, I have been making mac & cheese at home and this is one of the variations I learnt from Queen of 30 minutes, Rachel Ray.
Elbow macaroni – 8oz
Monterey Jack cheese – 1 cup grated
Onion – 1 medium chopped
Green pepper – 1 medium chopped
Red pepper – 1 small chopped
Crushed tomatoes – ½ 16oz can
Chipotle in adobo sauce – 2 chopped
All purpose flour – 3tbsp
Vegetable broth – 1 cup
1% Low fat milk – 1 cup
Chili powder – 1tsp
Butter – 1tbsp
Olive oil –
Salt and pepper – to taste
- Cook macaroni according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the two sauces:
- In a large sauté pan, heat 1tbsp olive oil and add onion, green pepper, red pepper and sauté till cooked. Add the chopped chipotle peppers with a little bit of sauce and tomatoes and cover cook for about 5-7 minutes on medium. Season with chili powder, salt and pepper, mix well. Turn off the heat and keep aside.
- In a separate medium size sauce pan, add butter and 2tbsp olive oil, when hot add the flour and sauté till the flour doesn’t smell raw anymore. Add broth and milk whisk well and bring it to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Add grated cheese and let it melt. Remove from heat.
- Finally combine cooked pasta, veggies and cheese sauce, mix well and serve hot.
You can add more veggies like broccoli, peas, zucchini etc.
Omit chipotle pepper and make it Indian style by adding a teaspoon of curry powder or garam masala.
Give it a smoky flavor by adding cumin powder and smoked cheddar cheese.