***if you're counting calories - don't do so while making this dish - lol***
Oh and what protein did I enjoy? Well, I had some thin cut pork chops in the freezer. A quick defrost and seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper) and I was almost ready to go. I got creative! I had some nuts. Can I just say I hate nuts! They have to be cooked (like in granola) in order for me to eat them. I figured this would work - so I took pecans and ground them into a flour, mixed that with cornstarch, and put them in the deep fryer. Let me just tell you...pecans are my new favorite frying companion!
The Best Ever Mac & Cheese
¾ pound of Cellantani Pasta
1 pint of heavy cream
4 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 ½ tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 cup of each, shredded provolone, white cheddar, sharp cheddar, and Monterey jack cheeses
½ cup of all cheeses combined for topping
Cook pasta in shockingly salty boiling water until tender. Drain and reserve to the side. In a sauce pan melt butter over medium high heat. Once melted stir in flour and cook through for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in heavy cream so no lumps form. Bring to a boil and immediately turn off. Add cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Add pasta and pour mixture into a greased baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
This was the roux I made. Just melt the butter and add the flour. Keep stirring - that's the key!
I was letting the pork chops drain here...look good, right?
Great mac and cheese starts with melted butter!
Once I mixed the cream, roux, and pasta together! Looks good already!
This is the roux and cream and seasonings before it thickens.
The finished product!
It started with one nut!
Pecans and cornstarch - a deep fryer's honeymoon!
There's nothing like good pasta draining.