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Texas-style Macaroni and Cheese recipe

A macaroni and cheese recipe with lots of good stuff, from sunny Texas! A long ingredient list, but easy to make and well worth the effort...


Ingredients for four cowboys!

Texas-style garnish:

* 3 cups cherry tomatoes
* 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
* 1 tablespoon cumin
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
* 1 cup corn kernels, thawed and drained if using frozen corn
* 1 roasted red pepper, diced
* 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped in rings
* 1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped

Macaroni and cheese sauce:

* 1/3 cup melted butter
* 1 onion, diced
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 6 cups milk, heated
* 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 2 cups grated Monterey Jack, grated and packed
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
* 1 lb. uncooked macaroni elbows
* 1 lb. Bacon, cooked to a crisp then chopped

Baking Step Ingredients:

* 2 cups plain corn nacho chips, crushed
* 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, grated and packed

Making this Texas macaroni and cheese:

Texas Style Garnish:

Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper and drizzle with oil. Stir gently, place them as a single layer. Roast in center of oven, heated to 400 °F until the tomatoes are starting to wrinkle, or about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the tomatoes down, add corn, cumin, paprika, jalapeños, bell peppers and green onions. Mix and reserve this tomato mixture.

Macaroni and cheese with bacon sauce:

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic, and fry, stirring until translucent, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, mixing, for 4 minutes. While whisking constantly, pour the milk in the preparation, whisking until the sauce has thickened and is creamy. Stir in mustard, salt, pepper, bacon, and Parmesan cheese, whisking until the cheeses are melted.

Putting the dish together:

Meanwhile, cook the macaroni elbows in boiling salted water until slightly tender, or about 8 minutes. Drain well, then add them to the cheese sauce we just did and mix. Spoon 2 cups prepared macaroni with sauce in a deep lasagna baking pan; spread evenly. Spread one third of the Texas-style filling over the macaroni layer. Spread one third of the remaining macaroni over the tomato layer. (Make-ahead: Wrap in heavy foil and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator and add 10 minutes baking time.)

Baking it:

Mix the corn chips and grated Monterey Jack cheese; sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese baking dish. Cover with foil and cook in center of oven at 350 °F for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until cheese is golden and bubbling, about 10 minutes.

Cut each individual portion of Texas Macaroni and Cheese and arrange each plate...