Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cheesy Chili Mac


Lately I've developed a keen interest in all things Cook's Country. If you're not familiar with this show, it's the sister show to America's Test Kitchen on PBS (they also publish a magazine with recipes). It's filmed at a farmhouse in Vermont, and the show focuses on down-home American food. John discovered that you can rent out the farmhouse where the show is filmed, so guess who is taking a Vermont vacation next month? John and I and a few of our friends are headed up to the lovely Green Mountains to enjoy a week of relaxing, cooking, eating, hiking, and more eating! The house is stocked with pantry items, cookbooks, and all kinds of kitchen equipment (as you might expect), and we plan to take full advantage of it! It's a food blogger's wet dream, really.

In the meantime, I've been recording the show and keeping an eye out for tasty-looking Cook's Country recipes, like this one for cheesy chili mac. This one caught my eye because it looked easy enough to make on a weeknight (it was), it only required one skillet, and it's full of cheese. John and I liked this so much that there was only a tiny bit leftover for lunch the next day (and it was delicious reheated).


Cheesy Chili Mac
Adapted from Cook's Country, as seen on Tracey's Culinary Adventures

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 pound ground turkey
2 cups water
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
8 oz (about 2 cups) elbow macaroni
1 1/2 -2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

Directions:
Set a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Heat until shimmering. Add the onion, chili powder, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and brown sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey and cook until it is no longer pink.

Stir the water and tomato sauce into the ground turkey mixture in the pan. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Cover the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the pasta is al dente, stirring frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a vigorous simmer.

Turn off the heat under the pan and add 1 cup of the cheese. Stir to incorporate/melt then season the dish to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining cheese (1/2 - 1 cup depending on how cheesy you want your dish) over the top and cover the pan again. Let stand for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
 
Makes 4 servings

mmm... melty
 Download a printable recipe.

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