Homemade Mac and Cheese with Tomatoes

No afternoon BBQ is complete without some epic side dishes.  This past weekend while hanging out with a crew of friends and cooking on my buddies new homemade 250 gallon offset smoker, I was stoked when I got to try my friend’s mac and cheese recipe.  I’ve had a lot of mac n’ cheese in my day and hands down this was one of the best recipes I’ve ever tasted.  It was super creamy and ultra rich with a dark orange/reddish color.  I think what I liked best (other than the artery-clogging cheese goodness) was that it had tomatoes in it.  I asked my friend if I could post her recipe and she kindly agreed  :)  Please make this the next time you have a backyard BBQ and then come back here and let me know how it turned out in the comments below.  I took a pic of it below so you can see the final product and also added a video of my lovely wife cooking this from start to finish.  Yes, I know you’re drooling right now…  :)

Ingredients

Salt and Pepper
1 lb elbow macaroni 1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups half-and-half
1 cup chicken broth (you can also use ham broth)
4 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Cooking Instructions

1)  Cook macaroni
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven.  Stir in 1 Tbsp salt and macaroni and cook until al dente, (6 min).  Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour tomatoes with juice over pasta.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed ( 5 min)

2)  Make sauce
Melt butter in med saucepan over medium heat until foaming.  Stir in flour and cayenne and cook until golden, about 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in half-and-half and broth until smooth.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until mixture is thickened (15 min).  Off heat, stir in cheeses, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper until cheese melts.  Pour sauce over macaroni and stir to combine.

3)  Bake
Scrape into 9×13 inch casserole.  Set in rimmed cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 until top begins to brown, 15-20 min.  Let sit for 10 min before serving

mac and cheese with tomatoes

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One Response to Homemade Mac and Cheese with Tomatoes

  1. Liz August 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Yum! I love home made macaroni. Sounds and looks really great!

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