It's Secret Recipe Club time reveal day again! I have no idea how it crept up on me so quickly. I'm quite embarrassed that I have not posted a single thing since the last Secret Recipe Club reveal! Oops. Things are moving along quite quickly here. Bender and I only have one more month in Winston-Salem and have been taking advantage of what little time we have left to spend with our friends. Alas, that means things like the my Fabulously Fun Food blog have gotten the cold shoulder. Perhaps when we are in Nashville I will have a bit more time to dedicate to this blog. After all, it has provided me with the support and outlet I needed when I was living in Germany. So, stay tuned after the new year for more frequent updates.
In the meantime: Yay for Secret Recipe Club. This month I was assigned the fabulous blog New Yorker by Heart. She has more recipes than I could possibly go through, and her newly update blog is very easy to navigate. Don't be scared when you open it the first time. According to Google Translate, the blog is in Danish. Never fear! Use Google Chrome as your browser and click on “Translate to English.” Easy peasy and you're good to go!
I found tons of scrumptious looking recipes on New Yorker by Heart. I debated between Asparagus Gratin with Asparagus Cream, Bruschetta with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola, Papperdelle with Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Bacon, accompanied by lovely Garlic Knots, and Pasta with Mushrooms. But then I heard that Winston-Salem was having a Macaroni and Cheese festival and my tummy made the decision: Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese. How fun is that?
Turns out, changes can ruin a recipe. Oops. So, I'm going to walk you through my mistakes. Never fear though, the Mac and Cheese was still good. My cooking experience was just riddled with minor disasters because I was the idiot who thought I knew better. D'oh!
The moral of this story: Follow the Recipe! New Yorker by Heart knows what she's doing!
So, how to do this. How to explain my mistakes.
I decided to lower the fat. Always a bad idea. I opted for whole milk over half-and-half. I also left out the sour cream. In doing so, I left out the counterbalance for ¼ cup of Tabasco sauce. Oops! So, don't do that! And on top of that, New Yorker was smart enough to leave the Tabasco sauce out of the cheese sauce. That's one smart woman!
In this post, I'm posting the recipe from New Yorker by Heart rather than the one I used. I'm positive you won't be disappointed with the results!
Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
adapted by New Yorker by Heart, originally from Food Network
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup hot sauce (preferably Frank's)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 pound yellow sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about minutes. Drain.
- Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth.
- Spread half of the macaroni in the prepared baking dish, then top with the chicken mixture and the remaining macaroni. Pour the cheese sauce evenly on top.
- Put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.