I’m happy to be back as a guest blogger for Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rocks blog during Season 13 of American Idol. For tonight’s cities I’m combining Boston’s love for Italian food with the spice of the southwest in Austin, TX.
Thanks for all the love for my Mac & Cheese Bites recipe last year. You inspired me to try another one. Make sure you let these cool before you remove them or you’ll have a pile of macaroni.
Southwest Mac & Cheese Bites
- 8oz large elbow macaroni
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 3/4 cup milk (I used 2% but whole milk works just as well)
- 1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chile powder
- 1 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp panko
- 2 chopped scallions
- 1 small avocado, diced
- cilantro for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain well. Spray a nonstick mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a medium sized skillet and sauté onion and bell pepper until softened. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute.
Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking occasionally, for about 2 -3 minutes until thickened.
Add cheddar, pepper jack and Parmesan cheeses. Stir to melt.
Add the onion mixture, salt and next 4 ingredients through the chiles.
Stir until well combined and remove from heat.
Stir in the egg yolk.
Fill each tin with the macaroni mixture and sprinkle with the panko and scallions.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until bubbling and golden.
Remove from the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes. Using a teaspoon, carefully loosen the mac and cheese bites and transfer to a platter to serve. Top with the avocado and cilantro.