I try not to devote much of my mental energy to hateration, because I want to put happier energy out into the world if at all possible. That said, I must admit to hating on Rachael Ray more than once, even, at a low level of hate, on this blog. For one thing, the branding of celebrity chefs--and the product tie-ins--make me nuts, especially since I would probably enjoy owning more orange cookware if it didn't have RACHAEL RAY emblazoned on it in a kicky font.

I'm just letting you know where I stand, though really it's neither here nor there because I snagged one of Ray-Ray's recipes as the basis for last night's dinner anyway.

Thanks to the Brit's love for the stuff, I have made many mac and cheese recipes over the last year or so. My favorite is still this one from the New York Times, which boasts a cheese-to-pasta ratio of 2:1 and requires no pre-boiling of noodles. It's not exactly what you want to eat on the regular, especially if you're cutting back on the dairy. Still, I might have made it last night if I'd had all the ingredients handy.

Instead, I took Ray-Ray's recipe and changed one vital thing: instead of a can of jalapenos, I added two minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, probably 3 tablespoons total, and used all cheddar cheese. Oh mama, was it good: smoky and creamy and hot. After I poured the sauce over the mac, I had to stand there and eat several bites before popping it in the oven to finish. I also used a full pound of macaroni. What's the point of making a twelve ounce batch?

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese
Boil a pound of elbows or rotini or whatever until al dente. Drain well and dump into a casserole dish.

Melt 2 T unsalted butter in a medium saucepan. Add two minced chipotles in adobo sauce (or more to taste), and heat for a minute until the smell torments you with deliciousness. Add two cups of milk and heat it all over medium heat until it starts to boil.

In the meantime, mix 1/2 cup of milk with 2 T of cornstarch until smooth. Whisk this mixture into your saucepan once it comes to a boil, cook til it thickens, and then chuck a pound of grated cheddar in by handfuls, reserving one handful for the top of the casserole. The cheese will incorporate beautifully and delight you totally. If you think it needs salt, add some.

Pour the sauce over the pasta, mix to disperse, and stand there eating it like a crazy person while the broiler heats. Scatter the last handful of cheese on top and broil for a few minutes. Our stove is rabid and the broiler is best used with extreme caution, so I actually baked it at 400 for 8 minutes and broiled for 2.

I'd show you a picture, but I've eaten it all.


  1. michelle @ thursday night smackdown said...

    oh, how i love macaroni and cheese in all it's permutations.

    oh, how i loathe rachael ray.  

  2. Wendell said...

    Hey, I made this yesterday! I only had the adobo sauce so I added more of it.

    The macaroni is awesome but it made us fart. Is that TMI?

    Great idea; thanks for sharing.  

  3. Anonymous said...

    To someone like me who loves cheese and spice with equal abandon, that sounds INSANELY good.