- Cooking Time:
- Servings: 6-8
- Preparation Time:
BackstoryMy entire marriage to Karl can be traced through one particular dish: Spicy mac and cheese a la Karl.
It was too salty the night Karl moved into the house.
It was too watery the night I found lipstick on Karl's shirt.
I burned it the night Karl told me he was leaving me for his secretary.
This was the first recipe Bree gave me when I moved to Wisteria Lane.
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeño chilies, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups milk
- a 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, the juice discarded and the tomatoes chopped and drained well
- cayenne to taste if desired
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Monterey Jack (about 6 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (about 6 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 1 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan (about 1/4 pound)
- In a large heavy saucepan cook the onion, the garlic, the jalapeos, the coriander and the cumin in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened.
- Stir in the flour and cook the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the milk in a stream, whisking. Bring the liquid to a boil, whisking, and whisk in the tomatoes. Simmer the mixture for 2 minutes and add the cayenne and salt and pepper to taste.
- In a kettle of boiling salted water cook the macaroni for 6 to 7 minutes, or until it is barely al dente. Drain it well, and in a large bowl combine it with the tomato mixture. Stir in the Monterey Jack and the Cheddar and transfer the mixture to a buttered 13- to 14-by-9-inch shallow baking dish or 3-quart gratin dish.
- In a bowl stir together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan, sprinkle the mixture evenly over the macaroni mixture, and bake the macaroni and cheese in the middle of a preheated 375-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is golden and bubbling.