Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spicy macaroni and cheese

Last night Jack and I made one of my favorite macaroni and cheese dishes ever. I found this recipe on made by a user named pureice23,  it has become a staple in my family. It was actually one of the first recipes I made when I decided to learn how to cook. I make this frequently for family get togethers and parties and it is always a hit. I even made this once for my speech class when I had to do a "demonstration" speech. I taught the entire class how to cook it and then fed it to everyone they all loved it!

The recipe is very easy to make, the ingredients you will need are:

1 pkg medium shells
10 or more slices Turkey bacon we tried the recipe with regular bacon it is not nearly as good
1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 C of heavy cream
1/2 cup of half and half or you can use only half and half for lower calories, that's what I usually do
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Step 1: I usually start by cooking the bacon or at least getting it started. After it's been cooking for a couple minutes I put the water on to boil.

Step 2: When the water is boiling I pour in the shells and get started on the sauce.

Step 3: pour the entire bag of cheese in a small sauce pan set at medium to high heat, pour in the cream, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Continue stirring until all the cheese has melted and there is a creamy texture. *you want to make sure you put the paprika and cayenne pepper in at the very beginning. The recipe says to wait until you pour it over the shells, we tried this and it led to chunks of paprika and cayenne pepper in the shells which did not taste good at all*

Step 4: After the shells are cooked and the sauce is ready pour the bacon into the sauce then put it all on top of the shells and mix until evenly coated.

Jack has actually rated this one of his top 10 favorite meals that I cook. If you are nervous of the spiciness don't be, because it's really not that spicy it's more just a flavoring. Now however delicious this recipe is it is not low in fat and calories, however, it's not scary unhealthy either. The nutrition values are as follows based on one recipe having 5 servings, and that you use half and half compared to heavy cream:

661 calories
23g of fat
4g of fiber
30% of your protein
0% of your iron
62% of your calcium

If you'd like to add more nutrition to the meal you can use Ronzoni smart taste macaroni or penne, they don't offer Ronzoni shells. Ronzoni provides for 9g of fiber per serving so it is definitely worth it.

 This meal is great as an appetizer, a meal, a potluck, or a side dish at a dinner party. If you're looking for something easy and delicious to make this recipe is definitely a great idea.

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