Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mini Spanish Mac and Cheese

Mini things are better right??

I could be partial to the idea because im short.  I mean... life-sized barbie was the same height as me for awhile.  Seriously though, mini things are cute.  Like these ponies or these monkies
There is also mini food.  This mac and cheese is a perfect example of how good and cute (no judgements) mini food is.  Of course you could make this in one casserole dish to eliminate the amount of dishes there are, but how fun is it that each person at the dinner table get their own mac and cheese.
I could keep going on and on about how cute mini things are (just look!!), but there is a really magnificent recipe for mac and cheese below. 
First, let me say that I have never had manchego cheese.  Second... I'm not a huge cheese person (gasp).  Finally... holy cow batman, this cheese rocks. 

If that is not enough to tell you how good this mac and cheese is, let me finish up by describing the deliciousness. The sausage tastes like spicy, crisp bacon while the thyme provides an amazing amount of depth and earthiness. Topping it all off, the tomato yields a fresh acidity, helping to break up the heaviness. 

This one here is a winner.  :-)

Mini Spanish Mac and Cheese
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 - 6 servings
Inspired by Food Network Magazine: March 2013


  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni pasta, dried
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 cup grated manchego cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 cup dried chorizo, browned **
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
** If you can't find dried chorizo, use any other dried pork sausage.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta.  While the pasta is cooking, chop the dried sausage into bite size pieces and cook in a skillet (you can just throw it in the pan to brown... like bacon.)  Once browned, place on a plate lined with paper towels, and then wipe your skillet clean.  Cook the pasta until al dente and then drain making sure to reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.  
Smash your garlic clove and rub in onto a large skillet (I use my handy dandy cast iron).  Discard the left over garlic.  Add the butter and melt at medium-high heat.  

Add the cream, salt, and pepper.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by one-third.  Add 1/4 cup of the cream mixture to the beaten egg while whisking (this will temper the egg and will ensure that you don't make scrambled egg mac and cheese.)  

Once tempered, add the egg mixture, thyme, Parmesan, Manchego, Chorizo, pasta, and pasta water.  Stir to combine.  

Divide the mac and cheese evenly between 4 - 6 ramekins (this can be made in a big casserole pan if you prefer.)  Top the ramekins with the sliced tomatoes and a little more cheese.  Broil until the cheese has melted.  Enjoy as a side to your dinner, or as a great lunch.

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  1. Manchego and tomatoes on mac and cheese? YUM! This looks amazing. And I love that you do individual serving dishes. Perfect for us, I can just tuck the meat into my resident carnivore's and leave it out of mine. Love this.

    1. Thanks! I love individual servings for that reason as well. Sometimes everyone wants things just a little different. :-)

  2. I couldn't agree more - mini things are just irresistible! And these mac + cheeses look SO good. I want one right now! =)

  3. This looks great! Love a good mac! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love personal sized meals! This mac n cheese sounds awesome. I've had a hankering for a good mac lately and really need to scratch the itch. Love the chorizo and machego! Flavors galore!

  5. I totally love anything mini too. :) This sounds absolutely amazing--I would have never thought to do a Spanish-inspired mac & cheese!