Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Chorizo Mac and Cheese

photo by Angela Sackett

I know there is this magical thing that happens when cheese and pasta come together but I have a confession to make... I never liked it as a kid. Even now, I can't stomach just the normal Mac 'n Cheese from a box. I know, it's horrible. Doesn't every kid on the planet like it? I mean it's on every children's menu in the United States and people have such fond memories of it. I just could never do it. 

But one year our friend Tony brought a huge homemade Mac n' Cheese casserole to our Thanksgiving In July party. Oh honey, that pan went so fast. You blinked it was gonnnnnne. I couldn't believe it. People went crazy for it! I was so impressed. There was this whole population of Mac n' Cheese lovers that I wasn't a part of. I had to get in. So I decided to make a Mac n' Cheese recipe that was so delicious that even a non-Mac n' Cheese lover like me would love. 

¡Hola Chorizo!

photo by Angela Sackett

Look, if you're wondering how to up the ante on any savory dish. Just add sausage or bacon or chorizo. You just can't go wrong. And let me tell you there is so much going right in this dish. It's perfect for Thanksgiving or honestly any time of the year. AND YOU CAN MAKE IT AHEAD. Which is just so attractive when it comes to reading a recipe, wouldn't you agree? Oh, and if you're not gluten free, just use regular pasta. But I'm telling you, no one is going to know it's gluten free!

Here's to Mac n' Cheese lovers everywhere! 

[Gluten-Free] Chorizo Mac and Cheese
Mac n' Cheese is comfort food at it's finest. My version features three different cheeses and zesty chorizo sausage. Plus, a reliable technique to keep your gluten-free pasta away from the “mush-zone.”

Serves 6-8


1 pound gluten-free elbow macaroni or fusilli
4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces Spanish cured chorizo, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons coconut oil
¼ cup arrowroot powder
2 cups (8 ounces) freshly grated extra-sharp white cheddar
2 cups (8 ounces) freshly grated extra-sharp yellow cheddar
1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Gruyere
3 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup chopped chives


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add 2 large pinches of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Add the pasta and stir. Cook pasta 1-2 minutes less than package directions. You want it to be al dente because it will cook a little more in the oven. Drain well. Then rinse with cold water.

Meanwhile, pour the milk into a medium saucepan and gently bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook until the edges begin to crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Remove chorizo with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Add the shallots to the pan and cook until just softened, about 2 minutes, stirring often. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the butter and coconut oil. Once the butter is melted, turn the heat down to medium-low and slowly whisk in the arrowroot powder. Cook for 1 minute. While whisking add in the hot milk. Cook until smooth and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Off the heat, stir in the white cheddar, yellow cheddar, Gruyere, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Once the cheese is melted, add the cooked pasta and chorizo. Stir well. Pour into the greased baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until hot and the sauce is bubbling. Top with chopped chives.

*Make-Ahead Tip: This recipe can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Make the entire recipe but don’t bake it. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to bake. Let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking. Bake until heated through and the sauce is bubbling, about 25-35 minutes. Top with chives.

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