Spicy Chorizo Mac-n-Cheese

1/3 lb. chorizo (bulk; no casings)

8 ounces (1/2 lb) elbow macaroni 
3 TBS. butter
3 TBS. all-purpose flour
1 TBS. ground (powdered) mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 cups milk
1 large egg
9 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

For the crispy topping:

3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
3 TBS. butter, melted
1 cup panko
 (Japanese breadcrumbs – you know, the kind we use in everything)

  • Cook the chorizo in a pan over medium high heat, using a wooden spoon to break apart as its cooking. When done, set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until firm al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until mixture is pale blond, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, paprika, cayenne, and onion. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, for 7 to 8 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
  • Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl. Add a few ounces of the milk mixture and whisk to combine (this tempers the egg so it doesn’t curdle). Whisk the egg mixture back into the milk mixture. Stir in the cheese, 1 tsp. salt, and the pepper.
  • Fold in the macaroni, and then the cooked chorizo. Pour into a 4-quart casserole dish.
  • Top the casserole: sprinkle with remaining 3 ounces of cheese, then toss the breadcrumbs with the melted butter and sprinkle them over the cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes (broil for the last minute if the top isn’t as golden as you want it), cool for 5, and serve



So apparently this is Alton Browns Recipe.  I liked it quite a bit, my brother thought it was a little to spicey, but I thought it was just right.   I cut the cayenne pepper down a bit when I made it.  I also strained the onions out of the
sauce prior to folding in the noodles, because I’m not a big fan of the texture of onions.   Overall, I would definitely make this again.  I think having good chorizo is key though, as it can really make it.    We had bought some from whole foods, and it was a little bland.I broiled the mac-n-cheese for about 1 minute to long, as I got distracted by the Ribs.  It looked pretty burnt, but lucky it was just the very top layer of panko.  I was able to scrape it off and still have a good crust left.Lastly, half a pound of Macaroni doesn’t look like much, but trust me it is.  I doubled this recipe for a dinner and it made a TON.  I’m going to have left overs for quite awhile.

I found the original recipe here:  http://oishiifood.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/chorizo-mac-cheese-with-crispy-panko-topping/

One Response to Spicy Chorizo Mac-n-Cheese

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