Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recipe Remix: Pimento Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

I've made my obsession with pimento cheese abundantly clear on here, so no need to rehash that.  Therefore, I'll just get right to the point and share yet another dish that's a variation of pimento cheese.

One night for whatever reason, my planned dinner wasn't happening, so I was scrounging.  It's times like this when I fall back on pantry staple meals so we don't succumb to take-out or delivery pizza.  When I think of pantry staple meals, pasta is always a safe bet for me.  We always have dried pasta of some sort and several random cheeses in the fridge, so some variation of macaroni and cheese is usually the fallback.  Especially considering that it is Caroline's absolute favorite food in the whole world (her words).  You can never have too many versions, right?

I used this creamy stovetop macaroni and cheese as the base recipe, adjusting the ingredients to the flavor profile I was going for.  The final product was just what I wanted:  supremely creamy and cheesy with just a little kick.  And it was ready and on the table in under half an hour.  You can't beat that!

Pimento Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from Italian Style Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese, originally from Macaroni and Cheese

  • 12 oz. dried pasta shapes (smaller shapes work best)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • large pinch of red pepper flakes
  • dash of worcestershire sauce
  • 8 oz shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices American cheese, torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup milk, half-and-half, or cream
  • 4 oz. Greek yogurt (low fat or nonfat is fine)
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 oz. jar of diced pimentos, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • snipped fresh chives, for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta to al dente, according to the directions on the package.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water (I used to always forget to save the water, so now I put a measuring cup in the strainer while the pasta is cooking, so I don't forget).

Return the pasta to the pot and stir in the garlic, worcestershire sauce, and red pepper flakes.  Add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring well between each addition.  Stir in the Greek yogurt, butter, and milk, and stir until all the cheese has melted and the sauce is creamy and smooth.  Stir in the pimentos, season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with chives before serving.


Adrienne said...

I have that towel from C&B! I am totally on board with this mac and cheese by the way. Absolutely genius.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

This is so filled with goodness. Yum!

Laura said...

Anything that you post with the words "pimento cheese" immediately has my attention. This looks so darn good!

Joanne said...

Between this and Annie's latest post, I'm convinced the universe wants me to make mac and cheese. This looks amazing! I love the pimento twist...it definitely breaks up the heaviness a bit!

Elizabeth said...

I love the noodles you used!

Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 said...

Sheer genius. I have a developing love for pimento cheese ever since I discovered it, so I'm excited to try this new twist on it.

Anonymous said...

MMmm, I would love to have eaten this meal, with that lovely asparagus on the side, too! yum yum

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