Christian’s Chipotle Mac and Cheese

Christian's Chipotle Mac and Cheese // Queen Smithereen.

Christian's Chipotle Mac and Cheese // Queen Smithereen.

Christian's Chipotle Mac and Cheese // Queen Smithereen.

Christian's Chipotle Mac and Cheese // Queen Smithereen.

One Year: NYT Mac and Cheese
Two Years: Big Crumb Coffee Cake
Three Years: Watermelon with Rosewater and Mint

Christian’s Chipotle Mac and Cheese
Makes one 8×8-inch Square Pan

Pasta:
16 oz elbow noodles

Turkey:
1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz ground turkey breast (or other ground meat of choice)
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne
2 chipotles in adobo, thinly sliced

Cheese Sauce:
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup salsa
2 tbsp adobo sauce (from chipotle in adobo can)
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup jack cheese, shredded

Topping:
1 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips (optional)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Pasta:
Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Turkey:
While the noodles cook, combine oil, turkey, sea salt and black pepper in a large pan, stirring and breaking apart the turkey until fully cooked. Stir in tomato paste, onion, spices, and chipotles, ensuring the turkey is evenly coated. Cook for another couple minutes, until the onions are cooked through. Set aside.

Sauce:
At this point, you can preheat the broiler and prepare an 8×8-inch square pan. For the cheese sauce, combine butter and flour in a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted completely and the mixture has started to brown. Pour in whole milk and vegetable stock, whisking constantly until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Pour in salsa, adobo sauce, garlic (if using), and scallions, whisking until fully incorporated and aromatic. Stir in cheeses and remove from heat.
In a large bowl, stir the noodles, turkey, and cheese sauce until combined. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with chips (if using) and cheddar cheese. Broil until browned on top, about 5-10 minutes. Let sit for a couple of minutes, then serve in whatever portion size you desire (I’m not judging!).

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