Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese

We’re due to get between 8 and 11 inches of snow by midnight with more snow overnight. This makes me long for summer and some fabulous grilled burgers. But firing up the grill in a snowstorm and high winds isn’t on my way up on my list of things I’m willing to do. Instead I’m making Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese.

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Who can resist a really great burger topped with barbecue sauce, onions, lots of cheese, and some spicy green chiles for a little heat? I sure can’t! Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is full of those spicy and sweet burger flavors we all love with the added bonus of mac & cheese!

It may seem like a lot of ingredients but it’s really not. Just your basic cheddar mac & cheese stuff plus some ground beef, onion, diced green chilies, garlic, and barbecue sauce. So 11 ingredients (not counting salt and pepper) but that’s not too many when the prize at the end is this great mac & cheese!

Pete suggested I write my recipes in the exact words I use when I’m creating them. He claims I talk to myself. so I’m going to do that. Oh boy. I recorded myself while I made this and Pete is right. I talk to myself <em>all</em> the time! And I talk to myself as though I’m talking to someone else! I say, “You do this and you do that.”

First you have to make breadcrumbs. A cup and a half should do. Use that bread that’s getting stale. Food processor out. Bread in. Cool. That’s done.

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Find a medium onion…dice it up. Where’s the stupid….never mind. *I was looking for a specific knife which I found where it always is unless it’s being washed. I often find things exactly where I keep them which makes me wonder <em>why</em> I wonder where to find them.

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Mince 3 cloves of garlic.

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Don’t forget to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil to make your elbow macaroni. If you can’t taste the salt in the water there’s not enough. Stop being stingy with the salt!

While the water is coming to a boil, brown a pound of ground beef in a large skillet. Season it with salt and pepper. Drain the beef and set it aside.

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Put onion you diced up earlier in the skillet. Cook it for 2 minutes then add the minced garlic. Holy cow that smells good! Cook it for another minute.

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Put the meat back in the skillet and stir in one (4.5 oz.) can of chopped green chiles. Stir it around so everything is nicely mixed together. Lovely. (Apparently I say “lovely” a lot!)

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Okay. Now pour 1 lb. of elbow macaroni in the boiling water and stir it to make sure it doesn’t stick. Boil it for about 2 minutes less than the box reads. You want it very al dente because it’s going to finish cooking in the oven. So…the box reads “7 – 9 minutes” so start checking it at about 6 minutes. It’s never really done at the first time they give. So why do they even print it with 7 minutes on the box?

Get off my foot, you cow! *This was said to Remy who came out to “help.”

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese and a perfect winter meal!

I decided to check on the weather while I was nursing my foot. Snow. Ick.

Now add 3/4 cup of barbecue sauce to the meat that’s still in the skillet with the other stuff. Just stir it around to coat everything and turn the heat off.  You’re not cooking it in there! Lovely.

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Now drain the pasta and put the pot back on the stove. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in there.

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Now add 3 tablespoons of flour and whisk it for 2 minutes.

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Slooooowly add 4 cups of milk. Keep whisking as you pour in the milk. Let it thicken a little. Good.

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Now add 2 cups of finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese *I started muttering to myself about the cheese right about here* and if you think I’m shredding my own block cheddar in this weather with my hands you’re crazy! (The fact that I am crazy was confirmed when I listened to the recording.)

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Stir that until the cheese is all melted.

Oh heck! Get out the 13 x 9 inch casserole dish which you should have done right at the beginning! Holy chimoleans! *This is one of my ‘swears’ as my grandkids call the words I make up and are obviously meant to express disgust, anger, or pain.

Now mix in the meat mixture and pasta in the pot with the cheese mixture and then pour it in the casserole dish.

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

Bake it for 15 minutes and Oh, shar! I need to get the butter melted for the breadcrumbs!*Shar was my mama’s word and I think she used it instead of s**t.
While the mac & cheese is baking melt a tablespoon…maybe just over one tablespoon…of butter and mix it into the breadcrumbs. Make sure the crumbs are all well coated with butter. There.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top of the mac & cheese, crank up the heat to 450 degrees, and stick it back in for about 10 minutes or so. You want the breadcrumbs all dark golden and crunchy.

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is a spicy sweet twist on plain macaroni & cheese!

So there you have it. That’s how you make my Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese. Feel free to talk to yourself or not while you make it but make this! It’s great! And I promise never to record myself and write it out again!

 

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese

Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese

Who can resist a really great burger topped with barbecue sauce, onions, lots of cheese, and some spicy green chiles for a little heat? I sure can’t! Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese is full of those spicy and sweet burger flavors we all love with the added bonus of mac & cheese!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 1 lb. ground beef (reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings to cook onions and garlic)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles (do not drained)
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce of your choice (I love K.C. Masterpiece original in this)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, divided
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Boil a large pot full of salted water.
  2. Add macaroni and cook about 2 minutes less than the time called for on the box. (You want it very al dente).
  3. Drain pasta and set aside.
  4. Brown the ground beef over high heat, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. Drain ground beef, reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings, and set the meat aside.
  6. Return drippings to pan and add the onion, cooking for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  8. Return the meat to the skillet and stir in the green chiles with the juice.
  9. Add the barbecue sauce to the meat mixture and stir well.
  10. Melt butter in the large pot and add flour, whisking constantly for 2 minutes.
  11. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened.
  12. Add cheese and stir until it has melted completely.
  13. Stir meat mixture and pasta into sauce until everything is well combined and coated with sauce.
  14. Pour into a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  15. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter and mix with 1 cup breadcrumbs until crumbs are well coated.
  16. Remove from oven, turn heat up to 450 degrees, and sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top of the mac & cheese.
  17. Return casserole dish to oven for about 10 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
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2 thoughts on “Southwest Burger Mac & Cheese

    • December 23, 2016 at 8:51 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you! One thing I think I’m going to change is a tiny bit less cheese and a bit more barbecue sauce!

      Reply

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