Spicy Macaroni and Cheese
Hi friends! I hope you are doing well. I am updating the pictures and post for this Spicy Macaroni and Cheese recipe from 2013. the recipe itself is solid and one that we love in our house. It was about time I updated the pictures as the old pictures were from my first year of blogging. It was also an excuse to make a comforting meal. As we are all going through these difficult global times, we are craving comfort and love.
If you are my husband, you take Mac and Cheese seriously. He tries new recipes and when I came across this spicy macaroni and cheese recipe from Sunny Anderson’s new cookbook Sunny’s Kitchen: Easy Food for Real Life , he was all about it. Who says no to mac and cheese right?
This brings your regular mac and cheese to a whole new level…a spicy level and that is a place I ALWAYS want to be.
Like most homemade mac and cheese, you start by making a custard that is rich, cheesy, and spiced with cayenne pepper to add a little kick. In goes the pasta and it is all topped with your homemade croutons. The crunchy topping is a killer and amazing in each bite.
With most recipes, I change a few things to suit our taste and needs. But this needed no adjustment. It was perfect from the first try.
Of course, you can adjust how much chili pepper you add to the recipe. I added 2 teaspoons of a special blend of chili pepper my mom sends from Africa every time she sees someone coming across the Atlantic. It was just the perfect amount to not mask the cheesy custard base but enough to add a mighty kick to this mac and cheese.
If you are looking for a way to spice up your mac and cheese, look no further than this spicy mac and cheese recipe. It is warm, filling, and comforting. everything you need in times of stress and anxiety.
Be safe out there my friends!
For the Croutons:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 slices white bread cut into ½-inch squares
- Kosher salt
For the Pasta:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces Colby cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 2 cups elbow pasta, cooked until almost al dente
For the Custard:
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¼ cup grated Vidalia or sweet onion
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup half-and-half
- In a skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter.
- Toast the bread cubes in the butter until golden – about 5 – 6 minutes.
- Remove to a paper lined plate, season with a bit of salt, and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 9x13 casserole dish, making sure to get the bottom and sides.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the Cheddar, Colby and pepper jack cheeses.
- In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta and two-thirds of the mixed cheese and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, mustard, nutmeg, sour cream, egg, onion, heavy cream and half-and half in another large bowl. Suggestion – whisk together the dry ingredients first and then start to add in the wet starting with the sour cream.
- Pour the custard over the pasta and cheese blend and mix well.
- Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into the baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake the macaroni and cheese, uncovered, for about 35 minutes until the cheese is just about set and top is beginning to brown.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle on the croutons and return back to the oven for another 10 minutes or so until everything is golden brown.