Macaroni Salad with Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Chipotle Mayonnaise: UPDATED

UPDATED:  Now with bacon.  Friend of blog reminded me I was going to add bacon to this recipe (though he suggested Pancetta).  See updated recipe below.

This is what I’m taking to the 4th of July picnic. (Photos to follow). What are you cooking this holiday weekend?

Macaroni Salad with Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Chipotle Mayonnaise

Chipotle Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp limejuice

While macaroni is cooking, mix together ingredients.

Macaroni Salad:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 8 oz cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 thick cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled.
  • 1 cup chipotle mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente, (firm to tooth). Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Do not drain well, allow macaroni to stay wet, remove to bowl. Immediately add garlic, celery, onion, parsley and lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese, bacon and chipotle mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow to chill 15 – 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.

Green Chili Macaroni and Cheese

Gov. John Hickenlooper

Former Mayor John Hickenlooper was installed as Governor this week.  The Inaugural dinner menu included Green Chili Macaroni and Cheese.  I’ve had a craving for it ever since.  First some background on Colorado Inaugural menus, the recipe I’m going to make tonight follows.  From the Denver Post:

With victory comes the banquet. But what’s a Colorado governor to serve?

Depends on the governor.

A century ago, Gov. Henry Augustus Buchtel took over Denver’s Savoy Hotel for the first grand banquet in his administration — “The Governor’s Good-Fellowship Dinner” — to which he invited his staff, the state Supreme Court, and both chambers of the state legislature — a couple hundred guests in all. The menu for the Jan. 31, 1907, event read like this:

Blue Point Oysters — Navy Bean Soup — Broiled Blue Fish with Butter Sauce — Small Potatoes (‘no reference to any-one here to-night’) — Roast Spring Chicken, Stuffed — French Peas, Candied Sweet Potatoes — Orange Punch — Waldorf Salad — Apple, Mince, Pumpkin Pie — Cream Cheese — Cigars

But it’s 2011 and times are different:

Guests at the buffet-style event (no sit-down dinner for this crowd) will nosh on, among other things:

Short rib empanadas — “Colorado chips and dips” — Pulled Colorado pork — BBQ Colorado beef brisket with Stranahan’s whiskey sauce — Vegetarian tamale with Haystack Mountain goat cheese — Green chile macaroni and cheese — Colorado Cache Mandarin Salad — Doughnut holes rolled in Enstrom’s almond toffee crumbs — Cinnamon bread pudding with Leopold Bros. Rocky Mountain Blackberry Liqueur sauce

You can read about the entire event here.

Now for the recipe.  I pulled together a few resources.  I’m not in mood to roast my own chilies today, we’ll leave that to JeffW  and IndyLib, so I’m using canned chilies, pickled jalapeno (my fave anyway) and a tomatillo salsa.  For real Green Chili, try IndiLibs, it sounds amazing.

Green Chili Macaroni and Cheese

  • 8 ounces dry elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup green salsa verde (tomatillo salsa)
  • 4 ounce can mild chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 tbsp (or more) finely chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
  • 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, about 2 cups
  • 4 oz hot pepper Jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

2 qt baking dish, oiled and saucepan

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir in flour until well blended and bubbly. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in salsa, chile peppers, and 6 oz of cheddar and all of the Jack cheese. Cook, stirring, until cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper. Combine with the drained macaroni; spoon into the prepared baking dish. Spread remaining cheddar cheese over the top of the baking dish.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees until cheese bubbly and top is lightly browned.

Chipolte Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon (!)

My cats are still not speaking to me.  It’s cold and rainy, so I bet by later tonight they’ll be over it and want to snuggle.  It has been a very busy day and I’m off again..but with luck will be able to settle in before too late tonight.  I’m hoping tomorrow the rain will clear up by afternoon so I can get a ride in.  What’s on your weekend agenda?

So this is the recipe that  is on my radar this weekend.  It is from the Homesick Texan.  The blog is a hoot, if you have time you should surf around on it.  And her recipes are yummy.  This one caught my eye a few weeks ago and I think it’s time to make it.



Homesick Texan Chipolte Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

Chipotle macaroni and cheese with bacon (adapted from the NY Times)

  • 2 cups of dry elbow pasta
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups of shredded cheese, a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled cotija cheese (optional, but delicious!)
  • 4 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of butter


Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-inch square or round baking pan with the butter. Add the dry pasta.

In a blender, mix together the milk, cottage cheese, chipotle chile, mustard powder, garlic, cumin, salt and black pepper until it’s smooth. Pour mixture over dry pasta and stir until sauce is evenly distributed.

Stir in two cups of the shredded cheese, cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the foil and stir the macaroni and cheese a couple of times. Top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese and chopped bacon and cook for another 25 minutes uncovered or until brown and bubbling.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with cotija and serve.

Note: If you’re not familiar with cotija cheese, it’s a Mexican hard cheese that’s like a cross between feta and parmesan. It’s become increasingly more common, so you can find it at many regular grocery stores and Hispanic markets. And if you live in New York City, I found at Mexicana Bakery in Jackson Heights at 86-06 Roosevelt a wonderful cotija coated in dried chiles. Also, chipotle bacon jam might go dandy with this as well!

Easy Dinner: Chili-Mac


  • 12 oz elbow macaroni
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ green pepper diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 tsp to 2 tbsp chili powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

2 qt. saucepan and skillet

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain. While macaroni is cooking, heat oil in skillet, sauté onions & peppers. Add hamburger, brown & crumble. Add hamburger, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, salt & pepper to drained macaroni. Stir, let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.

How’s the Mac ‘n Cheese?

Went out to dinner over the weekend and had a great meal at a local restaurant/pub.  Between us, we had 7 items and each one was very good: ribs, fried pickles, mac ‘n cheese, grits, red beans, mashed potatoes and gravy. And the beer’s not bad, either. Always happy when a dinner out is that successful.

The  mac n’ cheese was terrific (perfect side to their incredible barbecue ribs) with at least 3 different types of cheese and then baked.  My friend reached over and took a bite.

“Not as good as yours.”

“That’s because they don’t use onion powder.”

“That’s what makes yours so good?”


I wish I could take credit for it, but my mom always put a dash of onion powder into her mac ‘n cheese – whether it was homemade or the boxed stuff.  The best way to describe what is does is that it brightens the flavor and really brings out the the different cheeses you have used.   And diced onions are not the same and can overpower the dish.

You don’t use a lot of powder, less than 1/4 tsp for a 4-6 serving dish.

Just another entry from my attempt to visit all of the wonderful local restaurants in Longmont.  Which is going to have to go on hold for a while, since I’m pretty sure I’ll be spending the next few months “dining out” money in New Orleans.  Counting the days.

Now you want mac ‘n cheese, right?  Here’s one of my recipes:

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I have an arsenal of comfort food recipes.  But really, there are those days it just has to be macaroni and cheese.  Saturday was one of those days, so I pulled out this recipe.  I like mine garnished with fresh chopped tomatoes and jalapeños.  From January 2009

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

  • 12 oz elbow macaroni
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder  (about 2 shakes)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 oz shredded jack cheese
  • 4 oz crushed potato chips

large sauce pan, small sauce pan, large casserole dish

Bring water to boil in large sauce pan, add macaroni and cook according to package directions. In small sauce pan, melt butter, add flour, onion powder, salt & pepper blend well and then add milk. Stir constantly over medium heat until bubbly, add cheese, stir until melted. Drain macaroni, put into casserole dish, stir in cheese sauce, top with crushed chips and bake 20 minutes at 350°, until top is light brown and cheese is bubbly.