As I mentioned in my Menu Plan Monday post, I am planning to try more new recipes, so that I can work my way through the recipes that I clip from the paper, magazines, ads, etc. Yesterday, we tried a recipe for Nacho Mac 'n' Cheese. I do think it could be improved with a few tweaks, but it was a good dish as is and the recipe is a keeper.
Nacho Mac 'n' Cheese
3 c uncooked pasta (macaroni, fusilli, or other fun shape)
1 # ground beef
2 c chopped red bell pepper
1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/4c milk
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips, crushed for a garnish
In a skillet, brown the beef and the red peppers. Drain. Stir in the butter, flour, taco seasoning, and pepper. Gradually stir in the milk. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Add drained pasta and stir to coat. Serve, garnished with crushed tortilla chips.
I am a fan of easy one pan meals. This one got a decent boost to the flavor from the red peppers, but I wanted something a little more. I am thinking that the addition of some diced tomatoes before adding the cheese, might be the touch that could take it from good to great. The spice flavor from the packet of seasoning was good, but again, I would have prefered a little more intensity - I'm not sure whether I double up the packet of taco seasoning (or similar spice blend from cabinet) or if I add a packet of ranch, like I use in taco soup - I will have to play with that one. Otherwise, the crunch of the chips was a nice touch. Both of the kids ate the pasta on their plate and my husband said it was good and compared it to Cheeseburger Pasta (which I also tweaked by adding diced tomatoes). I will try it again in the future with some of these tweaks and see if it delivers better.