I made this as a side dish for Labor Day, and it’s a damn good thing I did, because our main dish was a complete and utter disaster. In hindsight, it’s a funny story, one I’ll tell you very soon. Suffice it to say, this mac and cheese can become a main dish if need be. And well, we needed be the day I made it.
That said, this mac and cheese was outstanding and very easy to pull off. Truth: it is a little bit spicy. The abundance of dairy does cool down the chipotles, but let’s face it, there’s only so much dairy can do – chipotles are hot! Matt and I love our spicy food, so it was great for us. You can back off to one chipotle chile if you prefer.
In other admittedly unrelated news, it was a busy weekend for us – we dropped our little rescue kitten off at the wonderful no-kill shelter where I volunteer. She’ll be available for adoption in a couple of weeks, and I’m sure she will find a good home quickly. We miss her a little bit, but I have to admit that it was nice to not wake up to my feet being attacked and my bare toes being bitten this morning. Yeah, she did that. Every. Single. Morning. Now there’s an effective alarm clock for you!
Anywho, enjoy this mac and cheese. It’s rich and cheesy and perfect. It would make terrific tailgating or game day fare! Or just some wonderful comfort food to spice up an otherwise dull evening, or make up for having a bad day. Or just because! That always works too.
Source: adapted from The Homesick Texan
2 tbs unsalted butter
3 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
2 chipotles in adobo
1 1/2 tsp mustard powder
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 lb. elbow macaroni
3 cups total grated cheddar and Monterey jack cheese
4 slices bacon, fried until crispy and chopped
Heat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 12-inch cast-iron skillet by melting the butter over medium heat, making sure to brush it on all the sides of the skillet.
In a blender, mix together the milk, cottage cheese, chipotle chiles, mustard powder, garlic, cumin, salt and black pepper until it’s smooth. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the dry pasta and stir until sauce is evenly distributed.
Stir in two cups of the shredded cheese, then transfer the mixture to the greased skillet. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the foil and stir the macaroni and cheese a couple of times. Top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese and chopped bacon and cook for another 25 minutes uncovered or until brown and bubbling.
Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, and serve.