10.22.2012

We Loved Here: Cajun Mac & Cheese Recipe

Hey friends! Please say a big HEY to my girl Ashley, from we loved here



Hi, I'm Ashley and I blog over at we loved here. I write about life with my fiance, planning our wedding, our devil cat, fashion, and share the occasional recipe. Jason, aforementioned fiance, pops in from time to time as well. Today I'm guest posting for Torrie while she's tending to the newest addition to her sweet family, Miss Liberty.

So, what am I sharing with you all? My recipe for Cajun Mac & Cheese! This has been one of our favorite meals lately. We discovered the recipe in Food Network magazine a few months ago and had to give it a shot. Mac and cheese with sausage, bell peppers, and green onions? Yes please! The initial result? It wasn't that great. Too watery, lacking flavor, and it didn't smell very good after we added the amount of cajun seasoning suggested in the original recipe. (Seriously, when we were cooking adding that seasoning, instant feet smell.)

So, what did we do? Modified it! We eliminated and reduced ingredients that robbed the dish of flavor (and made it smell gross) and added another cheese. Now it's absolutely delicious and is smells amazing!



Added bonus: it re-heats perfectly, which is not always the case for pasta dishes. If you think this sounds like something you would like to try, here's our recipe:

Cajun Mac & Cheese (serves 3-4)

Ingredients:
12oz of wagon wheel or bow-tie pasta
3 TBS of extra virgin olive oil
6-8oz andouille sausage, diced
2 bunches of green onions, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
pinch of cajun spice blend
1 1/2 TBS all purpose flour
2 cups of 2% milk
8oz block of sharp cheddar cheese cubed
2.5oz monterey jack cheese (about 1/3 of an 8oz block)

Directions:
Bring a pot of water to boil, adding 1 TBS of olive oil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, one minute less than the recommended cook time on the box.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook for 2-3 minutes until it starts to brown. Add the bell pepper and green onion and cook for 2-3 more minutes when the veggies soften. Add flour and pinch of cajun spice blend and stir. Begin stirring in the milk gradually. Once all the milk has been added continuing stirring for several minutes, it won't quiet boil but it will bubble up a bit. Add the cheese cubes and allow them to melt.

The pasta should be cooked by this point and once it is, drain, and begin adding it to the skillet. Allow everything to cook through for several more minutes and make sure the cheese is completely melted throughout. Serve.

We typically do not fix sides with this meal and it makes 3-4 servings.

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