Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cheetos®-Crusted Mac & Cheese

When I spotted this recipe online last week,  I had to send the link to my son who, like me, just loves those nutritionally challenged, ersatz, crispy, cheesy bites known as Cheetos®.  Macaroni and cheese fan that I am, I figured this was going to turn normal macaroni into absolute cheesy bliss. So I tried it. Huh. It was good, but not the cheesy heaven that I was hoping for. It actually tasted better the next day because the crumbled Cheetos® had softened up a bit making me wonder if they wouldn't have been better mixed with some fresh bread crumbs and tossed with a little melted butter before being placed on top of the dish. It's food for thought anyway, and something that you might want to try.

I make a rather classic version of macaroni and cheese, beginning with a simple Béchamel and then using it as an excuse to rid my refrigerator of all of the remaindered cheeses. So it tastes different every time, but always delicious. The basic recipe is below, but use whatever cheese you have from bleu to pepper jack. You'll always be creating and be pleased every single time.

Classic Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 2

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup whole milk
1-1/2 cups rotini pasta (or the pasta of your choice)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (or more to taste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Few gratings fresh nutmeg

Fresh breadcrumbs tossed with melted butter
Extra gratings of cheese
1/2 cup of crushed Cheetos® 
(and now I'm wondering how Fritos® would taste)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook pasta to al dente as directed on package, drain in a sieve, rinse with cold water, and continue to drain while you make the sauce.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook for about 3 minutes. Slowly pour in milk, and continue to stir until smooth and the mixture thickens. Stir in cheese until it melts. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  

Fold in the cooked pasta and turn all into a 1-quart casserole.  Cover with the topping of your choice.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.
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  1. My granddaughter LOVES mac and cheese, will have to send them this recipe.
    It looks delicious - thanks so much,
    Happy Easter

  2. This mac and cheese looks so deliciously creamy. I love the addition of Cheetos! It is one of my favorite salty guilty pleasures. I don't allow myself to have it much because once I start, I really can not stop!

  3. I can't wait to try this recipe, I am a big Cheetos lover! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. Oh man! I haven't had Cheetos in so long! Putting it on top of mac and cheese sounds like a great idea. :) Thanks for stopping by and sharing this on Five Friday Finds! I'm looking forward to what you share this week. :)


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