George’s Cheddar-N-Jack Mac

It's that time of year again; cooler evenings, more events going on and tailgates to organize. That's when I turn to my crowd pleasing Mac-N-Cheese. If you're grilling at a tailgate, you can make my mac-mix ahead. Chill it, then just bake-it right on the grill. It's good time food.

Use my recipe as a guide and feel free to add smoked ham, cooked bacon, grilled chicken or grilled shrimp to make your own home-spin.  

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George’s Cheddar & Jack Mac

Makes 6 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken broth

1 4-ounce can diced green chilies

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 teaspoon hot sauce

pinch fresh grated nutmeg

2 cups half & half

1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Jack cheese, shredded

2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 pounds uncooked elbow, shells, or other small pasta

Melt Butter in a large soup pot or saucepan. Add onion, and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add the broth, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add the bay leaves, thyme, diced green chilies, hot sauce, and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Stir in the half & half and heat to a simmer. Slowly add the Cheddar, Jack, and Parmesan cheeses, stirring until they melt and the sauce is smooth. Stir in the cooked pasta. Place in a serving dish and eat immediately or sprinkle with Mac Topping, and bake five minutes in a 350 degree oven. 

Optional Additions:

1 cup each Chorizo, chopped plum tomatoes

For the Mac Topping

4 Tablespoons butter, melted

6 Tablespoons bread crumbs

2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

1 Tablespoon each fresh cilantro & parsley, chopped

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

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Gameday My Way

If you are a one pot meal Gameday-er, you must try my Crock of Beer Chili.This basic chili recipe combines several flavors of the Southwest.  Turkey and pork can be substituted for beef. Make it vegetarian by using eggplant, squash, and extra onion in place of the meat.

If you are serious about plating-up a well rounded grill spread with try my Pork BBQ SandwichWhite Bean Casserole Soup + Cheddar & Jack Mac.

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