We may still have a few more days/weeks/?? of sheltering in place, and that means we have more opportunities to eat all the cozy food. How does a creamy gooey Mac & Queso Fundido sound just about now?!! Yep, we thought so too. So we're super excited to try this recipe by Esteban Castillo from Chicano Eats who is sharing his take on the popular American standard with us.
This cheesy goodness comes from Esteban's new cookbook, Chicano Eats, published by HarperCollins, which takes us on a delicious tour through the diverse flavors and foods of Chicano cuisine—Mexican food with an immigrant sensibility that weaves seamlessly between Mexican and American genres and cultures*.
Now he's sharing his Mexican-American take on the iconic mac-n-cheese with this Mac & Queso Fundido recipe. Let's dive in!
Mac & Queso Fundido:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 5 ounces (140 g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces (115 g) fresh chorizo, casings removed
- 8 ounces (225 g) cavatappi (corkscrew) pasta
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (240 ml) chicken stock
- ¾ cup (175 ml) whole milk
- ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 ½ cups (165 g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup (112 g) shredded Colby Jack
- ½ cup (50 g) shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 green onion, sliced, for serving
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat for the pasta.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
- Add the cremini mushrooms and cook until crispy and golden brown all over, about 5 minutes on each side.
- Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a plate.
- Add the chorizo to the same skillet and cook, crumbling the meat with a spatula, until the fat has rendered and the chorizo is crispy, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove and set aside on a paper-lined plate to drain.
- Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the garlic, stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Whisk in the flour.
- Then slowly whisk in the chicken stock.
- Once the chicken stock is incorporated, whisk in the milk and heavy cream and continue whisking until smooth.
- Whisk in the onion powder and smoked paprika, then return to a simmer, and cook until it begins to thicken, about 3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the mozzarella, Colby Jack, and Parmesan until they are completely melted.
- Adjust the salt to taste (if your chicken stock and Parmesan aren’t salty enough, your cheese sauce will need a pinch or two of salt here).
- Add the pasta back into the large pot where it was cooked.
- Then add the cheese sauce to the pasta and stir to evenly coat the pasta in the sauce.
- Transfer to a serving dish and top with the mushrooms and chorizo.
- Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.
What are your go-to comfort foods right now? Share with us in the comments below.