Ancho Chili Mac & Cheese
- Prep time 45 mins
- Cook time 45 mins
- Ready in 1 hour
This is an involved process, but hey, this recipe won the 2019 Mount Saint Mary Mac & Cheese Cook-off. It is pretty darn delicious and lots of fun to make. Give it a go and make some happy mouths at your next gathering. Bonus, you will have left over Ancho Chili Sauce to play with!
- For the crème fraise:
- For the ancho chili sauce:
- You can make up the crème fraise and ancho chilli sauce days ahead of time to break up a bit of a demanding recipe.
- For the crème fraise, stir 250 ml of whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of buttermilk together in a loosely covered glass jar. Leave on the counter for 12 – 16 hours. After 12 hours stir to check the consistency…it should be magically thick and rich like yogurt. Keep in the fridge for 10 – 14 days.
- Ancho chili sauce time…You will only use ½ of this sauce and you will reserve the left over for another batch of Mac or to be used anywhere a good salsa is needed.
- Add the chili powder, onion, tomato, Serrano peppers, garlic, cilantro and salt into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
- Preheat a large pot on medium high, add the oil and then carefully pour the contents of the blender into the hot oil. Cook the sauce until it begins to thicken (about 7 minutes).
- Add the lime juice and zest, stir and check the taste. Set aside for the moment or store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
- Add the whipping cream to a large pot and reduce by 50% by volume over medium heat. This is a tricky task as the whipping cream will want to boil over if it gets too hot. So make sure the pot is large, keep it at a simmer and take your time. It will take 20 – 30 minutes depending on how hot you have it.
- Now it’s time to put it all together. Add ½ of the ancho chilli sauce to the reduced cream and bring to a simmer.
- Add the Raclette cheese to the pot and stir with a whisk until the cheese is fully melted and incorporated. This will take a few minutes.
- Next add the cooked macaroni to the pot and simmer until the noodles are hot and the sauce has thickened up. Add a touch of fresh cream or milk if it gets too thick.
- Serve it up and garnish with breadcrumbs, bacon bits and drizzle crème fraise on top. Enjoy!
Puree avocado into the crème fraise to make it just as I did. You can also use thinned down sour cream to save a step, but it is not nearly as good.