Saturday, February 19, 2011

Fiesta Chili Mac

I love cookbooks.  I LOVE cookbooks!  I know you can find just about any recipe online, but there is just something that I love about flipping through a book, looking at the pictures, and marking the pages with my favorites.  For Christmas, I got LOADS of cookbooks! Seriously: two Rachael Ray cookbooks, 3 Pampered Chef books, plus this super awesome set of Pampered Chef recipe cards called "More Weekday Dinners- Done!"  This little packet has two weeks worth of 30 minute or less recipes.  Each week uses similar ingredients, plus comes with a convenient grocery shopping checklist for the week.  The best part is that each recipe is under $2/serving!  This recipe came from the pack- I'm hoping to do the whole week's worth soon! 

Fiesta Chili Mac
1 medium onion, diced
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
8 oz. uncooked penne (I used macaroni since that's what we had; also this is the equivalent of 1/2 a 1 lb. box in case you didn't know.)
1 can beef broth
1 1/2 c. chunky salsa
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 c. frozen corn, thawed
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef with spices in a 12 skillet.  Once beef is broken up, add the onions and brown for a few more minutes (total about 8).  Add pasta, broth and salsa- stir together well.  Cover and bring to a simmer, cooking for 10 minutes.   Stir in green pepper and corn; cover and simmer 6-8 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 c. cheese.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese. 

It's a nice twist on typical mac 'n cheese, especially if you enjoy Mexican food.  You end up with a 9x13 casserole dish full, so somewhere between 6-8 servings.  It wasn't very noodley, so you could totally add more pasta to make it stretch farther.  The recipe originally came with microwave cooking directions with tiny stovetop directions on the bottom, so if anyone wants those directions I can get them to you.  I just personally find the idea of cooking ground beef in the microwave disgusting- somehow it ends up being chunky and odd tasting, in my opinion anyway.  Enjoy!

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