I've been a Mac n' cheese fan ever since I was a child. What's not to love when you combine pasta and melted cheeses? My favorite is a recipe of my mom's that combines a rue with white wine and loads of cheese to make a decadent cheese sauce poured over penne and baked till bubbly. However, every once in awhile I like to mix it up. For the beer tasting I showed you yesterday, I made an out of this world Cajun mac n' cheese with creole seasoning, andouille sausage, and chicken. It's a great recipe to mix up the traditional and add a bit of flavor. Not to mention, it was a huge hit at the party! It can either be baked in individual ramekins or in a large casserole dish family style. Whichever way you serve it up, your guests will be sure to thank you. Here's the recipe!
:: Ingredients ::
1 Box Penne Pasta
3 Cups Milk
4 Tablespoon Butter
4 Tablespoon Flour
16 oz Shredded Sharp Cheddar
1 Tablespoon Cajun Seasoning Blend
1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 Cup Onion, diced
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, strained
1.5 Cups Andouille Sausage, sliced
1.5 Cups Chicken, cubed
1/2 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar for Topping
:: Directions ::
1. Cook pasta according to box directions. Strain and set aside.
2. In a medium pan, sautee bell pepper, onion and garlic in oil until onion is translucent. Set aside.
3. In a medium pot, melt the butter. Stir in flour and whisk until smooth paste forms. Add milk and whisk continually until it reaches a low boil and thickens. Mix in cheese and stir till melted. Add cajun seasoning.
4. In a large bowl, combine pasta, pepper mixture, cheese sauce, 1 cup sausage, and 1 cup chicken.
5. Pour into a greased casserole dish and top with remaining sausage, chicken, and shredded cheese.
6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until sides are bubbly.
Have a spicy Thursday!