Macaroni and cheese is a dish that you should learn to make. No, not the kind that calls for powdered cheese and a microwave. I am talking about real macaroni and cheese made with real ingredients, like noodles, butter, milk, and fresh-grated cheddar cheese. Very few dishes taste better than this natural combination. This week, I took my favorite mac & cheese recipe and “Texified” it by adding some seasoned ground turkey, bell pepper, and jalapeno.
Put this recipe in your “priority” box so you can enjoy a taste of comfort at your kitchen table tonight! My favorite part of this recipe is the evaporated milk – it is a small item that packs a big punch of creaminess and richness to the final pasta. You will never look at another mac and cheese recipe again after trying this.
1 box elbow macaroni or spiral pasta (shown)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1 lb ground turkey sausage
6 oz evaporated milk
4 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
1 tsp mustard powder
1 package “taco” seasoning (or a mixture of some cumin, garlic salt, chili powder, paprika, and onion powder)
1 cup fresh-grated cheddar cheese
Start by cooking the pasta (not shown). While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the remainder of the ingredients. I recommend chopping your veggies and grating the cheese now.
Next, brown the turkey in a skillet along with a bit of olive oil and the packet of taco seasoning. Halfway through, add the peppers into the pot and soften them while the turkey finishes.
When the pasta is finished, drain the water using a collander and return the pasta to the pot. Return to burner at low heat. Stir in butter over hot pasta.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, evaporated milk, salt, pepper, and mustard. Pour over pasta and stir for approximatley one minute to fully incorporate.
Next, add the shredded cheese and stir.
Lastly, add the skillet contents (turkey and peppers) to the mac and cheese to welcome the recipe home to Texas. You can omit these ingredients if you cannot resist the simple, rich macaroni and cheese on its own. To me, nothing says ”Texas cuisine” like cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and cream.
Yum! What do you think? Are you ready to start cooking yet? This recipe makes fantastic leftovers that can be enjoyed at any time throughout the week. I like that I can diversify a “normal” macaroni and cheese recipe by adding a few Tex-Mex ingredients. That kind of creativity will keep your dining companions always on their toes. Enjoy, everyone! Have a happy week!
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