A smooth and surprising macaroni and cheese recipe with savory Mexican meatballs that will make you say 'Ole! Give me more!'
· 1 (8 ounce) package elbow macaroni
· 3/4 pound lean ground beef
· 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno pepper
· 2 teaspoons olive oil
· 2 teaspoons butter
· 1/4 cup cream
· 1 cup sour cream
· 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
· 2 cups cottage cheese
· 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
· salt and white pepper to taste
· 1 cup canned diced green chiles
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
2. In a large bowl, mix ground beef with onion, garlic and chopped jalapeno pepper. Roll into small, 1 inch meatballs. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs, and cook until browned on all sides, then remove to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. The meatballs do not need to be thoroughly cooked at this point as they will finish cooking in the oven.
3. While the meatballs are cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Gently cook the butter until it begins to brown, and acquires a nutty fragrance, about 1 minute. Stir in the cream, sour cream, Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, garlic, and cilantro. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the cheese has melted. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
4. Stir the cooked macaroni and diced chiles into the cheese sauce, and pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Slice the meatballs in half, and place onto the pasta cut-side down.
5. Bake in preheated oven until the cheese sauce is bubbly, and the meatballs are no longer pink in the center, about 25 minutes.
Happy Cooking ☺