Monday, September 27, 2010

Buffalo Mac and Cheese


My husband loves Buffalo Sauce. Chicken coated in Buffalo Sauce, either on a sandwich or a salad, is his preferred dine-out entree. And he always loves Macaroni and Cheese, so this looked like a good recipe to try.

The verdict?
I used approx 1/3 cup of the hot sauce for a half recipe, and I was hoping the hot sauce would add just a tinge of spice, something running along in the background, but this amount really set our mouths a-smoldering....in a good way.

I would compare this to ordering "mild" wings at your favorite neighborhood restaurant, so if you are going for a full blown burn, crank up that amount of sauce. My son had one noodle and remarked "too spicy!" so there was more for me and my husband, which we were all too happy to eat. The leftovers were actually divvied up pretty fairly between us, but we weren't letting the other take too many...we watched each other like a hawk.

I will make this again, but probably with such a small amount of hot sauce (maybe 1/8 to 1/4 cup?) that the "buffalo" portion of this is downplayed. This would be good for football game eats or a potluck (with it appropriately labeled!)

I'm sharing this at Eat at Home's Ingredient Spotlight: Hot Sauce.

Buffalo Mac and Cheese
recipe adapted from Our Family Eats
serves 8 as a main dish

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
salt, for pasta water
16 oz (1 pound) macaroni
3/4 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 1/2 cups half and half (or milk)
16 oz (1 pound) sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a large casserole dish (9x13 is recommended).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook macaroni until al dente or the shortest amount of cooking time on the box or less.  Drain.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the flour and mustard and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the half and half, and the hot sauce.  Stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Add the cheeses and whisk in the sour cream.  Stir until smooth.  Remove from heat.

Spread macaroni in the baking dish.  Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the top.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave.  Stir in the panko and the blue cheese if using.  Sprinkle over top of macaroni.  Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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