Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beer and Jack Chili Mac

Luke has had to work late the past two nights - huge bummer, but at least he's not deployed or training off-island! Yet. I tried something new for dinner, and it made so much that I ended up taking some to him and the person with whom he's working tonight. Before I even made it the one-mile drive from the block house to our house, he had texted me to ask for more. It is that good. I love it when a recipe from pinterest turns out to be as amazing as it sounds. This recipe for beer and jack chili mac (link) was so fantastic. The mac and cheese is so good that I'd eat it alone, but it was really amazing with the chili too. I made the mac and cheese exactly as the original recipe states, but I made a few changes for the chili based on what I had in my pantry and the fact that my husband does not approve of meatless dinners.

For the mac and cheese:
1 box elbow noodles
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 cup beer (I used Corona)
1 cup cream
8 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz Neufchatel cream cheese

For the chili:
2 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 jalapeño, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup beer (again, Corona)
1 can black beans
1 can rotel tomatoes
1 can fiesta corn
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 lb ground beef, browned

So in the original recipe, it says to make the mac and cheese first. However, the chili has to simmer for 30 minutes, so when I make this next time, I'll make the chili first and make the mac and cheese while it's simmering to cut down on wasted time.

Saute the onion, garlic, and jalapeño in the butter until the onion is translucent. In a large pot, combine all of the chili ingredients, and cover this and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the macaroni noodles. I used my pasta boat so I could forget about the noodles while I was making the sauce. In a large skillet, melt the mac and cheese butter and add the flour, whisking until a paste forms. Whisk in the beer and cream. Bring it to a low boil, and then add the cheeses. Combine until they're thoroughly melted. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and mix.

Lastly, add the macaroni to the chili. I found that making a whole box of macaroni was too much to be added to this amount of chili, so I added about 2/3 of the macaroni to the chili. Bonus: now I have beer and jack macaroni to eat too! Next time I make this, I think I'll make some cheddar jalapeño cornbread to go with it!

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