It’s been a long winter. A long, long winter. Not necessarily from the weather-side, but just from the life side. But never fear – I’m still here! And finally back into a groove of cooking. I’ve noticed that the things I cook often reflect my mood. If I’m feeling good, my recipes turn out great…but if I have the blues, then my dishes just really, well, stink.
It almost sounds cliche – and isn’t there a movie somewhere about this? But a long story short, I feel like I’m back in the game! 🙂
Several weeks ago, this was made on a snowy Saturday night. We had no place to be, no plans to be had, so my husband and I made a date with our couch. It was definitely one of those nights where you wanted to just sit there, veg out, and watch TV. And, I confess, a night where you want to eat dinner on the couch. A perfect night for comfort food.
I had all the ingredients on hand for this recipe and decided it would be the perfect night to try it. And boy oh boy, it was a winner.
Mac ‘n Cheese ‘n Burger
adapted from Rachael Ray
- 1 pound cavatappi (curlicue pasta) or elbow pasta
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (or more to taste)
- Salt & pepper
- 4 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 cup chicken broth/stock
- 2 cups milk (we used 2%)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or a ‘mac & cheese blend’ if available)
- 1/4 cup chopped dill pickles (optional)
- 1 plum tomato, seeded and diced (optional)
- For the pasta, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and a dash of salt and cook until al dente.
- As the pasta cooks, heat a nonstick skillet with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown it, breaking it up into bite-size pieces as you go. Add in the onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to the skillet to season the meat.
- As the meat and pasta cook, heat a saucepot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the butter and whisk in the flour as the butter melts, making a roux. If necessary, adjust heat to make sure the butter does not burn.
- Once the roux is nice and smooth, whisk in the stock and milk. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a bubble, then thicken it up a few minutes. Keep an eye on the pot so that the mixture does not bubble over. Stir the mustard into the sauce, then add the cheese a few handfuls at a time to the pot. Stir the mixture well so that the cheese melts, but does not burn at the bottom.
- At this point, your meat and pasta should be done. Drain the pasta and add it back to hot pasta pot. Add the beef, then the cheese sauce to it. Stir to combine the mac ‘n cheese ‘n burger altogether. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve in shallow bowls with chopped pickles and tomatoes for garnish, if you’d like.
This is a fantastic combination of cheeseburgers and macaroni & cheese – which are two great comfort foods (but not necessary great on the waistline…). You can easily tweak the add-ins and cheese to incorporate your favorite burgers and toppings:
- mushrooms and swiss cheese
- blue cheese and cajun seasoning
- hellooo, bacon anyone?
- toppings: ketchup (Hubs did this!), BBQ sauce, hot sauce, red onions,
I figure this can also work with turkey, chicken, or veggie burgers as well. Whatever your heart desires, I suppose 🙂 The only things I would not recommend adding are mayonnaise and lettuce – it would become very soggy, wilty, and just…ick.
After writing this post I have to admit…I want to go make this again, right now. Yes, it’s that good!