Friday, November 9, 2012

Chili Mac

I've been making a lot of Tex Mex dishes since joining Just a Pinch about a year ago. What a great web site for home cooks. The membership is world wide and the variety of recipes on there can at times be overwhelming. Like what should I make first? Should I go off my diet?  Well if I'm going off my diet, what should I make first? You get the picture. So tonight I made Dan Clark's Chili Mac. Being a northern gal, I'd never had chili mac and wanted to give it a try. It's similar to American Chop Suey, but has a nice bite. Dan is a great cook, and most of the recipes I've seen of his have been done outdoors on a smoker or grill. I don't do that kind of cooking so when he posted this recipe I took the bait. I made a few changes- halved the recipe, added some pork sausage to the ground beef and used Dreamfield's elbow macaroni. This was the perfect dish to end a miserable weather week and say goodbye to the noreaster that hit us on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Chili Mac
Serves 4-6

1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
3/4 pound ground beef
2 sweet Italian sausages, removed from casings
1 medium onion diced
4-5 cloves garlic minced (about 1-1/2 T)
1 14 oz can petit diced tomatoes (I used no salt added, and added my own salt later)
1 16 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 oz tomato paste (half a small can)
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp chili powder (I would have used a bit more but I ran out)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
5 oz Mexican Blend 2% shredded cheese

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook macaroni according to package directions until just less than al dente. Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium heat brown ground beef, sausages, onion and garlic until meat is no longer pink.

Drain fat and return to stove. Add remaining ingredients except for the cheese.

Drain macaroni, add to meat/bean mixture and stir to combine. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.

Transfer to a baking dish coated with cooking spray. I used my good old souffle dish.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes. Uncover, top with cheese and bake 8 minutes more. Cheese will be ooey, gooey and melty.

This is comfort food at it's best. I'll be making this again for sure and I'll probably add a fresh green pepper to the onion, garlic, and meat saute. This was so good, I'd serve it to company with a crisp green salad dressed with a lemon vinegarette and homemade cornbread. Which reminds me, the cornbread recipe needs to be shared.


boona said...

(this is Donna Bardocz) Wow, this sounds and looked awesome Linda!

Linda said...

Hey Boona, it was yummy. Make it, you'll be glad you did.