This Flaming Hot Summer Mac N Cheese is fully inspired by fresh summer ingredients to add a bit of warmth to these cold winter days. Made in one-pot, this creamy mac is made up from a trio of cheese blends such as white and orange cheddar cheese and gouda, its fill with fresh corn cut from the cobb and served piled high with fresh pico de gallo, a drizzle in chipotle aioli and finished with crushed flaming hot cheetos.
This is a pretty quick and easy stove-top mac and cheese made with a handful of ingredients and then it gets a whole upgrade with fresh toppings which makes it super eye catching and fun to serve.
This is probably my preferred method because it stays creamy and saucy. I find baked mac and cheese loose their sauce and tend to be more dry with a crispy topping. This is absolutely do-able in the oven, it really works both ways I think it just comes down to preference and whether you want it saucy or not. For this recipe I am not counting the pot I used to boil the noodles and cook the corn, i feel like that’s a given in any pasta recipe. I am focusing on how it all comes together in the other pot. It starts off like most recipes where you make a roux with melted butter and flour. This is the thickener which will help transform the milk into a creamy white sauce. It’s the base for most mac and cheese, and alfredo or other pasta sauces. From there the cheese can now be added into the pan and whisked until it all melts and blends smoothly into the sauce. Finish it up by adding the cooked pasta and corn and that’s it!
I like to use a mixture of different cheeses, usually ones that melt really well into a sauce and aren’t stringy. From cheddar cheeses, to gouda, to cream cheese or brie I’d say these are the most common and really good for melting. Any of these combinations will do, choose cheeses you typically like, or if you want that orange hue use more orange cheddar than white. The blend used in this recipe the colour is really pale but that’s because you get that pop of colour from the toppings so they stand out nicely.
I added some of my all time favourite summer fresh ingredients to make this feel and taste like a creamy bowl of summer goodness. I love eating a lot of Mexican inspired foods in the summer and grilled corn, and pico I tend to make weekly if not daily. They are by far some of my go-to toppings because they add such fresh flavours you cant get from anything else. I am a big fan of cilantro and of course it’s gotta have some spice so the chipotle aioli and hot cheetos give it a nice touch of heat. You may recall that I’ve made some grilled corn with cheetos in the summer and we’ve got tons of tacos, burritos and bowl recipes that are all Mexican inspired in our recipe library.
The temperatures here have been -30C or colder for a few weeks now- it’s friggen cold and we shouldn’t have to suffer stuck inside without something to look forward to or brighten things up. This easy meal will lift any gloomy spirits, it’s fun, fresh and I’m sure all the kiddos would be super into it. I know my little guy thought it looked super fun with a few pieces of cheetos sticking out of his mac and cheese. He immediately grabbed it and started munching away.
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