Friday, April 27, 2007

Mac N Cheese Southwestern Style...

... Or, how to get a prepared dish on the beach for hungry beach-nighters in just under 2 hours. That was my challenge for this week's dinner on the beach; make a lot and keep it hot my battle cry.

Christine's Somewhat Southwestern Mac N Cheese
Christine's original recipe
Ingredients:
1 pound elbow macaroni (can be Dreamfield's)
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
several tablespoons white whole wheat flour
1 cup pimiento stuffed green olives, buzzed in the food processor
1 4-ounce (or more) can diced green chiles, use jalapenos for more heat
4 cups frozen sweet petit corn kernels, such as S&W, thawed
1/4 to 1/2 chile in adobo sauce, minced (careful, these are hot!)
1 to 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
4 eggs
2 cups 1/2 & 1/2
4 ounces sliced black olives
Earth Balance or butter for the dish

Preparation:
Cook the elbow mac in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, stir and set aside in a warm place.
Shred the cheeses (I used my food processor), keeping them in separate bowls
Divide the flour between the two bowls and toss with the cheese.
Whisk the 4 eggs with the 1/2 & 1/2 until well blended.
Stir the diced green chiles, green olives, adobo chile and sauce, corn, salt, pepper and all but 1 cup of each cheese into the macaroni. Check for seasonings.
Pour the egg mixture over the macaroni mixture and mix well, I used my hands, they work very well for tasks such as this.
Butter a large oblong glass casserole dish and pour in the mac N cheese, spreading evenly the the edges.
Put the rest of the cheeses on top of the casserole along with the sliced black olives.
Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 45 minutes or until very hot and bubbly.

To pack to the beach, cover the casserole with foil and place in a cardboard box just large enough for the dish to fit snugly. Don't forget to take hot mitts with you. And a large serving spoon.

Watch the entire dish disappear, especially when the teenagers arrive.

Good night





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