I found inspiration for this recipe from the one and only Rachael Ray. You got to love her sense of humor and style of cooking. I loved watching her 30 Minute Meals show with my mom throughout high school. Always a fun 30 minutes to share and learn. Anyway, back to the recipe. I was recently browsing her 365: No Repeats cookbook and ran across one of her recipes called Tex Mex Mac n Cheddar. It sounded so good, but it wasn’t quite what I was wanting to make. Instead of a ‘stoup’ like consistency as she calls it, I prefer ‘chili’ consistency. It’s thicker, heartier and belly-filling good. So I took her recipe and made it my own with some tweaks, dashes and pinches of change. By the way, if you aren’t a spicy fan, no problem, just leave out the cayenne, hot sauce and green chiles.
Oh! Did I mention we are pairing this with Mild Mini Quesadillas? Freshly shredded Colby Jack cheese and diced southwest peppers (mild) fresh from my garden will be the delicious center of our quesadillas!
What You’ll Need:
Spicy Chili Macness
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 lb. macaroni (generally 8 oz or half of the box)
- 1/4 of a large yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/8 cup southwest peppers (or your choice), chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
- 1 can unsweetened whole kernel corn, drained
- 2 tsp hot sauce
- 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
Mild Mini Quesadillas
- 2 mini tortillas (or the number of people you are feeding)
- 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
- 1/8 cup southwest peppers, chopped
First things first, you will need to start boiling the water for the macaroni. Follow the cooking instructions on the box and cook al dente. While the water is boiling, prepare the beef. (I made this into a One Pot Wonder Meal (minus the pot to boil the macaroni) and just used the same pot for everything, my Enamel Cast Iron 5.5 quart Dutch Oven. It was a birthday present from my parents and I LOVE it. It cooks anything and does the job really well. Oh and mine is teal blue in case you were wondering.)
Drizzle a little EVOO around the bottom of the pot and the add the beef. I usually have my heat on medium-low before adding the beef just so it cooks a little faster. Brown completely. Once browned you will add the hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, ground cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper.
Next, add the chopped onion to the mix and stir. Let all that wonderful flavor blend for about a minute before adding the garlic and peppers.
Toss in the garlic and peppers and blend again.
Add the can of undrained diced tomatoes and green chiles. (Note: The green chiles help give it an extra kick, you can always use regular diced tomatoes.)
Time for the can of drained whole kernel corn! Mix the last two can additions really well. By now the macaroni should be perfectly cooked and ready to drain. Once drained add the pasta to the chili mix and stir. Let simmer for another 10 minutes while you make the quesadillas.
Take one of the mini tortillas and butter one side lightly. Over medium-low heat place the buttered side down in a non stick skillet. Top the tortilla with the prepared shredded cheese and peppers.
Once you notice the cheese beginning to melt, fold on side of the tortilla on top of the other.
Lightly brown the tortillas on both sides until everything has melted and the outside is a beautiful golden brown. Serve immediately with a hot bowl of the Spicy Chili Macness. Top with cheese and sour cream and as always, enjoy!
xo – M