Guys, if you like spicy food the way I do, I’ve created two dishes that you’re going to love. Skill level is easy to moderate on the mac & cheese, and a bit more complex for the meatballs, but worth it. I’ve tried to give you a classic mac & cheese with a twist, and a summery, fiery meatball dish that is different and made for the bold taste buds of the common dude. Enjoy!
Chipotle Mac & Cheese
8 oz. macaroni
4 small to medium chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup flour
1/2 stick butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook macaroni, drain and set aside. Melt butter in large skillet, then add flour and stir for about 20 to 30 seconds. (This type of flour and fat combination is a thickening agent referred to as a roux -- pronounced “roo” -- for those of you who want to continue to impress the ladies with your kitchen acumen.) Add milk, and then whisk to break up chunks of flour mixture. When mixture is warm and starts to thicken, add cheese. Stir until cheese melts, and then add chipotle peppers. Put cooked macaroni in a large bowl, and pour cheese mixture over it. Stir to combine and then pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake for about 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serves four, or like previous recipes I’ve posted here, two very hungry guys.
Tex-Mex Meatballs w/Spicy Tomatillo Sauce
3 to 4 tomatillos, rinsed, after removing the papery skin
1 jalapeno pepper
1/4 of a large red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 medium avocado
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
juice of one lime
1 lb. ground beef
2 medium ears cooked corn on the cob
2 jalapeno peppers
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 slice white bread, cut into cubes and soaked in 1/2 cup milk
For the sauce, spray the tomatillos, two jalapenos (one for sauce, one for meatballs) and red onion with cooking spray and grill over medium heat until the skins on tomatillos and pepper turn brown and begin to blister, and onion lightly browns. Cut off tough core of tomatillos and remove the stem and seeds of jalapenos. Throw the vegetables in a blender, saving one jalapeno for the meatballs, and add remaining sauce ingredients. Blend for a few seconds until smooth.
For the meatballs, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the corn off the cob, and chop the remaining grilled jalapeno. Combine in a large mixing bowl along with beef, cilantro, chili powder, salt and pepper. Then take the soaked bread and add to the bowl, discarding the milk. Mix thoroughly with your hands and shape into 1½-inch meatballs. Brown meatballs in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for about three to four minutes. Then move meatballs to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 10 more minutes, or until cooked through.
Pour some sauce on a plate and top with a few meatballs. You should have about 20 meatballs in all, which will serve between two and four people. Serve with a frosty Mexican beer (trust me, you’ll need it to wash down both of these dishes!).