Mexican Macaroni & Cheese

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Mexican macaroni and cheese always needs to be prepared very specifically for maximum authenticity. Make Mexican macaroni and cheese with help from the founder and owner of CapMac in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Pasta, Cheese, & More
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Hi, my name is Brian Arnoff, and I'm the chef and owner of CapMac. Today, we are making a twist on Mac and Cheese, a little Mexican Mac and Cheese. Here are all of our ingredients, we have some butter and flour for our roux, we have one egg as a binder, we have a poblano pepper, we have some shredded cheddar and Jack cheeses. We have a little bit of chopped chipotle pepper, cilantro, white onion, and we have about a half a pound of cooked elbow noodles, and some milk scalding on the back stove. alright, to get started here, we're going to turn our heat on the pot to about medium-high, and we're going to add our butter. While the butter is melting, I want to talk a little bit about poblano peppers. This is a classic Mexican pepper, it's a little spicy, but also a little sweet, it's a little more interesting that your classic green bell pepper. So, today, what we're going to do is, we're go fire roast this pepper. We're going to throw it on our burner back here and we're going to just let it char, and we'll worry about that later. Next, we're going to add some onion in here, with our butter, then we're going to add a little bit of this chipotle pepper. This is a smoked and dried jalapeno, it's typically found canned with a little bit of tomato sauce. So, we pulled them out of the sauce, chopped them up and we're throwing it in here, in sort of a seasoning. We're going to allow all this to cook together for a couple of minutes, just to breakdown the onions, get the flavor of the chipotle peppers working. So, to go back to our pepper, we have one over here that we charred up earlier. We popped it into a metal bowl and we allowed it to rest, and we threw some plastic wrap over the top. That steams the outside skin, so that we can peel it back. As you can see here, all the char is going to come right off. And then, what we're going to do, is we're going to set all that char aside. Give my hands a little wipe here, makes a little bit of a mess. And we're going to just take some of this pepper, and chop it off. This is a great technique to use on any type of pepper, it removes the skin and makes them tender. They're great to eat just like this, or to add to your favorite dish. I'm going to add this right along with our onions, into the Mac and Cheese base. So, now, we have our two peppers in there, along our onions, and the butter is all melted. We're going to slowly add our flour. This is creating our roux for the cheese sauce. We want to allow the flour to cook for about a minute, just to cook off the raw flavor of it. As you can see, it's starting to bubble up real nice there. And so, next, we're going to grab pour scaled milk, it's basically just been brought up to a simmer. We're going to slowly add this to the pot. We're going to change to a whisk here, to avoid any lumps, and we're going to whisk pretty vigorously to make sure that this all blends together nicely. This, now just needs to be brought back up to a simmer and just allow it to gently cook for a couple of minutes to thicken the sauce. While that's working, I'm going to chop up a little cilantro, this is a classic herb used in Mexican cooking. We're going to add this at the end of the cooking process, so that the cilantro retains it's freshness and it's beautiful green color. And lastly, we have our serving container. Today, we've decided to do something different. We've taken a tortilla that we've cut down to size and we've molded it into a little individual portion cup. You could do this in a muffin tin, or you could do this in a big pan and just line the whole pan with tortillas. We thought it would be great to do it in a personal containers for today. We're going to add our half pound of cooked elbow noodles to the sauce that is now thickened, give that a quick stir. Now, we want to add our cheeses. Now, you want to add your cheese slowly, you never want to add your cheese at once, otherwise you risk breaking your sauce. So, we're going to add about two or three stages, melting each stage into the sauce. Great bringing out the creamy texture of the beautiful cheddar cheese and Jack cheeses that we have here today. At this point, we're going to turn the heat off, we're going to crack our one egg, give it a little whisk. We're going to add this egg, it's a binder, it's going to help hold the Mac and Cheese together, while it's cooking in the oven. We're going to add this right into the pot, give it a quick stir. So, the egg doesn't scramble and it just incorporates beautifully. Lastly, always, you want to season your Mac and Cheese. We have a little freshly cracked black pepper and a little salt. After you've added that, it's always important to taste your Mac and Cheese. You don't want to serve your family and friends something that's bland. So,make sure you give it a little taste, delicious. And looks like we're ready to go. So, we're going to add our cilantro, and just spoon it into the individual cups. That looks good, kind of nice and cheesy that is. And for the last touch on this Mexican style Mac and Cheese, we're going to take some tortilla chips and just sort of give them a little crumble. And we're going to use that as our crispy topping. And that's going to brown up beautifully on top. we're going to pop this into a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, allow it to bake. So, it's been about 25 minutes, our Mac and Cheese has been in the oven. And here we have our beautiful individual serving of our Mexican Mac and Cheese, all nicely browned up around the edges and the tortilla chips all crisped up. Thank you for watching, Brian Arnoff with CapMac.

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