Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cajun Mac n' Cheese

Happy New Year!!! Let's start this year of blogging off right with a good old comfort food recipe.

If you don't like mac n' cheese you can leave my blog now. For those of you who are left, which should be everyone, this recipe puts a Cajun twist on the classic dish. It has all the creaminess, cheesiness goodness of mac n' cheese, but adds a kick with Cajun seasoning, Andouille sausage, and red peppers. I only changed a few things, I added some crispy bacon and I mixed the shredded cheese into the milk mixture to make the cheese sauce, instead of adding it in at the end as stated in the original recipe. I've never cooked with Andouille or Cajun seasoning before, so this was definitely stepping out of my cooking comfort zone!

It's been exciting moving back to New Jersey! Things are getting back to "normal" I guess you can say. One big change is transitioning my wedding and event planning business from Charleston back here in New Jersey. I don't talk about this often, in fact, I don't think I've ever mentioned it here. But, check out my website: Catherine Kut Events. It's my pride and joy, and hopefully in the next 5-8 years this will grow to be something to support me full time!



Ingredients
-3/4 box penne pasta
-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-4 slices bacon, cooked crispy and diced
-6 ounces Andouille sausage, diced into bite-sized pieces
-2 scallions, sliced thin
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-1 tablespoon Cajun spice blend
-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-2 cups whole milk
-1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1. Cook penne pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the water.

2. Heat the EVOO in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the Andouille and cook 2 minutes. Add the red peppers, bacon, and scallions and cook an additional 3 minutes, frequently stirring. Add the Cajun seasoning and flour, continuing to stir and cook 2 minutes. Pour in the milk and shredded cheese and cook 5 minutes while whisking, until cheese is completely melted and blended.

3. Add the reserved 1/4 water from the pasta to the cheese sauce and the penne pasta. Stir to completely coat pasta, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.



Source: Pass the Sushi

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