About a week ago, a generously large bag of groceries arrived at my door. This was sent to me by JB’s Gastro Pub at Amwaj Rotana Hotel, Dubai. I had graciously accepted their Mac & Cheese challenge!
What is the Mac & Cheese challenge you ask? The lovely team at JB’s Gastro Pub had shortlisted me along with 5 other bloggers for a blogger cook-off! We were each sent this identical package that included the following ingredients to make a simple, mainstream Mac & Cheese:
- Cheddar Cheese
- White Flour
- A Pack of Macaroni
We were asked to cook up a mean Mac & Cheese, but give it our very own personalized twist… and boy did I twist it hard!
I was envisioning a perfect bowl of Mac & Cheese; smooth, decadently cheesy, white and fulfilling. What would go best with all that cheesy goodness? I pondered over it for most of the week we got allotted…
And then it hit me… I was going to go all Mexican! Ole! Absolutely love a good plateful of Nachos. Crisp tortillas for the crunch, oozy cheese for decadence…. a classic that never fails to satiate. Why not substitute cheese with Mac & Cheese?
To give my dish more colour, I used Blue Corn Tortilla Chips (available at Carrefour). Without much adieu, I present to you Tezzy’s Nacho-Style Mac & Cheese!
Tezzy’s Nacho-Style Mac & Cheese Recipe
Cook the macaroni packet as per instructions. Drain, and set aside.
For The Cheese Sauce:
- 250 grams salted butter
- 2 heaped tablespoons white flour
- 1 table spoon breadcrumbs
- 1 liter milk (approx)
- 250 grams cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 can Mexican Black Beans
- 2-3 sliced Jalapenos
- 200 grams pitted and sliced Black Olives
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Melt butter in a pan over medium heat.
- Add in the flour and breadcrumbs, and fry gently till it takes on a pale golden colour.
- Slowly pour in the milk, stirring continuously to prevent lumps.
- Add the cheddar, and stir till melted.
- Use a hand blender to remove any lumps in the mixture. Ensure the sauce is smooth, creamy and has a pouring consistency (like pouring cream).
- Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the black beans, Jalapeno an black olives.
Mix together the macaroni with the cheese sauce.
For the Nacho Assembly, You Will Need:
- Blue Corn Tortilla Chips (usual tortilla will do too, but these add contrast to the white pasta!)
- A handful of shredded lettuce
- Red and Green Bell Peppers, finely diced
- A few sprigs Cilantro, chopped
- 6-8 slices of Habanero Cheese, sliced
- Sour Cream
- Fresh Salsa (recipe below)
- On a plate, arrange a layer of Blue Corn Chips.
- Next, add a layer of shredded lettuce.
- Spoon on the Mac & Cheese mixture.
- Top with bell peppers and Habanero Cheese.
- Sprinkle with Cilantro.
- Serve with a generous dollop of Sour Cream, and freshly made Salsa.
For the Salsa:
Mix together the following ingredients, all very finely chopped:
- 1 large, ripe tomato
- A few sprigs of cilantro
- 1 Jalapeno
- 1/2 an onion
- A pinch of salt
This Nacho-Style Mac & Cheese is an entire party in your mouth! We took ours outdoors for a picnic, and scooping the Mac & Cheese with the tortillas turned out to be an ideal way to enjoy all that cheesy goodness.
I hope you like my recipe enough to give it a go, and do spare a minute to visit the Amwaj Rotana Facebook page to see the other 5 Mac & Cheese entries.