Friday, April 22, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

I don't remember how we came across the idea. (I'm sure Melissa does, though.) All I can say is that sometime after we made Buffalo Chicken, we thought of combining that recipe with one of our favorites, Stovetop Sausage Mac and Cheese.

This is the story of what happened when two recipes wed and became one.

Melissa started by making the ranch mix of dried parsley, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme and dill. Then we make the stovetop recipe just like we normally had, leaving out the seasonings at the end (since they were already in the mix). And we added some hot sauce, for a nice kick.

Melissa and I went with a ranch seasoning mix in this recipe because we're not huge fans of bleu cheese. (Although I'd love to see a recipe of this using bleu cheese, so if you try it, post in the comments, please!)

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Ranch mix
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dill
8 ounces Al Fresco Buffalo Chicken Sausage
16 ounces elbow macaroni
2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
4 tablespoons flour
6 ounces cheddar cheese
2 2/3 ounces monterrey jack cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup hot sauce
salt to taste
hot sauce to garnish
chives to garnish

1. Mix the dried parsley, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme and dill together; set aside.

2. Cook the elbow macaroni according to directions. While the pasta is cooking, remove the sausage from casings and break up in another pan.

3. Once the sausage is cooked through, combine the milk and flour and add to the sausage, stirring constantly until thickened. Then add the cheddar, monterrey jack and cream cheese. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Add the hot sauce and salt to taste. Garnish with more hot sauce (as I found was necessary) and chives.

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