Look at dat kewtness up there. Part cookbook, part coloring book, full blown cozy (think mulled beer, black and matcha cookies, tres leches cake), all from my gurl Adrianna. I’ve got to see this whole thing sort of develop and happen and it’s so cool to have the finished product and see how it turned out. Aaaaand it’s perfect timing because Christmas is right around the corner and this is great for anyone that likes to cook but also even if they just like to color you’re covered so you should buy this for everyone you know.
I went ahead and went with the mac & cheese in the book because I don’t have a good mac & cheese on here, also I wanted a whole batch of mac & cheese sitting on my counter to test my willpower.
Spoiler alert: I have no willpower.
The original recipe is for a jalapeño mac & cheese, that I’m not mad about, but I just happened to have a jar of pimentos in my cupboard and pimentos and cheese are lovers so I paired it all together here and I love how it turned out. Gooey cheesy pimento cheese vibes without the thought in the back of my head saying you’re just eating cheese and mayo right now.
We’re also timing this perfectly right now because Thursday is just a few days away and a little birdie told me a lot of people eat food until they pass out that day and this would be perfect to help out with that. And if pimentos aren’t your thing then go ahead and use jalapeños like the original or no peppers and be vanilla but still have people love you because mac & cheese.
Pimento Mac & Cheese
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound pasta, I used cavatappi because the shape gives me life
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 teaspoons salt
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz monterey jack cheese, shredded
6 oz diced pimentos, drained ( or 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced if you want to go with the book!)
Preheat your oven to 350*F, grease a 9×13″ baking dish, and set a large pot of water on the stove to boil.
In a small bowl toss together the panko, butter, and salt. Set aside.
Once the water’s boiling go ahead and toss the pasta in there and cook 1 or 2 minutes less than the box says too, we want it to be a little extra al dente because the oven will finish it off. Drain the pasta and set aside if it’s done before the cheese sauce.
Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter down in a medium sized saucepan, then add the flour and cook for a couple minutes until it get just a tad darker and thickened. Add the milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper and stir frequently over medium heat until the mixture just starts to bubble and thickens up, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes then add half the cheese and stir. Once that’s melted go ahead and add the other half of the cheese and stir until it’s melted.
Mix the cheese sauce with the pasta and add the drained pimentos. Get the mac and cheese into the prepared dish and sprinkle the panko over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes until nice and bubbly and lightly golden brown. If you want even more golden brown and your baking dish is broiler safe place it under the broiler for a minute to really get the panko golden.