I had some ground meat to use and just could not think of what I wanted to do with it. My guys were returning from a trip and I knew they would be hungry. I came up with the idea of making taco mac and cheese. I think kids would love this recipe.
I browned the ground meat and added some cumin and salt and pepper.
This is one of my new favorite ingredients which can be found in Asian stores. Fried garlic. This sure adds a punch of flavor. It's not overly garlicky but rather like roasted garlic. It is great stuff!
Add a bit of Kitchen Bouquet to enhance the flavor.
Then add several tablespoons of tomato paste.
I stirred it all together and tasted it and decided it needed a little something more.
So I added a couple tablespoons of this. You could just add seasoned salt.
I spread this mixture in the bottom of a heavy pan.
And because I love olives, I added a layer of them too. You certainly could leave them out.
I also added a layer of jalapenos which could also be omitted.
I diced up a poblano pepper, some green onions and a red pepper.
Then I boiled some pasta just until it was al dente. Always salt your pasta water.
While the pasta boiled, I mixed 18 ounces of evaporated milk with 4 egg yolks.
I added some freshly cracked black pepper.
A tablespoon of cumin and a teaspoon of salt.
A tablespoon or so of both granulated garlic and granulated onion.
Then a bit of beef bouillon and a tablespoon of chili powder. Whisk to combine.
As soon as I drained the pasta, I added the chopped vegetables.
I do no cook the veggies because they cook a bit later and I like them to still maintain some crunch.
As always, I doubled this recipe. I have a bit of a problem! If you are making this and want to cut it in half, just use one stick of butter. Then halve the rest of the above ingredients.
After the butter melts, add in the evaporated milk mixture. Add 5-6 cups of cheese. Use whatever you like. I used cheddar and Monterrey Jack. Cook at a bare simmer until the cheese is melted. Then add your pasta mix and stir to coat evenly.
I mixed some pesto with panko crumbs for a topping. If I had cilantro, I would have made a cilantro pesto instead.
Top the ground meat with the pasta.
Cover the pasta with the pesto panko mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
The panko will just be toasty and some of the pasta with be golden on the edges.
This is a great dish for a buffet or any hungry crowd.
The taco meat combination with the creamy mac and cheese and crunchy topping if wonderful.
Plus it is super easy to make.
Your family and friends will thank you!
Darn...I just had an idea. Next time instead of the panko, I am going to crush Fritos or tortilla chips as the topping!