While looking for possibilities for a milk substitute in Macaroni and Cheese, I found some interesting-looking recipes for the from-scratch stuff, one of which is a Spicy Mac!

(makes 4-5 servings)

1/2 lb (1/2 box) macaroni, cooked
5 oz sharp cheddar, grated
2 cups milk
2 Tb flour
2 Tb butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
About 1 cup chorizo, sliced and grilled
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 dry mustard
1 Tb fresh parsley or oregano
1 tsp salt
ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook and drain pasta. Slice chorizo into 1/4-inch thick pieces on a bias, and quickly saute to brown. Remove from heat and reserve. In a saucepan, saute onions in butter for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and flour and stir for another 3-4 minutes. Pour in milk and continue stirring until just beginning to boil. Add cheese and spices and stir until fully melted, thickened and bubbly. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Fold in fully drained, cooked macaroni and chorizo to sauce mixture and transfer everything to a casserole dish. Bake for about 20 minutes or until top is golden and crispy. Let sit a few minutes before serving.

The Temper Tantrum Macaroni and Cheese actually involves taming eggs and hoping that the stuff don’t scramble in your bake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook 1 lb. pasta to just-under al dente. I used penne, but I have learned my lesson. Sometimes, you shouldn’t mess with tradition. Use elbow macaroni. Drain and rinse if you want. The whole dilemma of whether to rinse or not to rinse pasta is pointless here.

Melt 4 Tbsp. butter (that’s ½ stick or ¼ cup) in a large sauce pan. Cook ½ medium to large onion that has been super teeny minced, or you can get smart and use the smallest holes on a grater. When the onion is cooked (5 to 7 minutes), sprinkle 4 Tbsp. flour over the onions and butter and continue cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp. dry mustard and 1 Tbsp. hot sauce.

If you are in a desperate situation like I was, use 4 to 5 mustard packets. I was a little bitter about the mustard packets, so I doubled the hot sauce (Tabasco) to make myself feel better.

Pour 4 c. whole milk into pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes while continuously whisking. Salt and pepper to taste.

Temper and add 2 large eggs.

Remove sauce pot from heat. Add 5 c. shredded or grated cheese and stir until melted. I used half medium Cheddar and half Monterey Jack. If you want to get fancy, get fancy, but remember, this is macaroni and cheese.

Add cooked pasta to sauce, stir until it’s all one big pasta and cheese orgy, then pour it all into a buttered 2 quart casserole. You can also use a 13×9” pan, but you might have some macaroni and cheese that won’t fit into the pan. No problem. Just eat it.

Bake for 20 minutes

Cover the top with ¾ c. breadcrumbs mixed with 4 Tbsp. melted butter and ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 10 more minutes until it’s burbling, gurgling cheese and the breadcrumbs are toasted.

I don’t know; it all sounds good.