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Cheese Meximac

★★★★

  • 1 box rotini pasta, (16 ounces) I used 12 oz tricolor rotini and 4 oz elbow
  • 2 green onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch red chile pepper flakes
  • 16 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 15.2 ounces canned mexican style corn, drained (Del Monte Fiesta Corn)
Heat oven to 350º. Coat 3 quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Bring large pot water to boil. Add rotini and cook 5 minutes. Add green onions and cook an additional 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In medium size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly, until smooth. Stir in salt and peppers; bring to a simmer. Cook, simmering, 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add half of the shredded cheese to milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Stir in corn, then combine in large bowl with pasta and scallions. Pour half into prepared dish; top with half of the remaining cheese. Repeat, ending with cheese.
Bake at 350º for 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Makes 10 servings

Source : Kitchenmonki.com

Tonight was our first night taking swing dance lessons again. That called for an easy and not overly heavy meal. I had my reserves about this mix because I’m not a big fan of pepper jack cheese and I didn’t think I would like the corn mixed with the pasta, but I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

It took me several years to understand how to make a white sauce such as is the base in this recipe. My biggest mistake in all those years was a lack in patience. I felt I had to stick to the timing that was in print, but that’s not always the case. I’ve also learned that by adding just a small amount of the milk to the butter and flour mixture and allowing that to create a good paste is a key to having a thick creamy sauce in the end.

For a next go-around I think I would use 8 ounces of monterey jack and 8 ounces of the pepper jack. It was a little too much for me. In the case of the mexican corn, I could not find a can that clearly said mexican corn, then I wondered if they no longer label it that way because of politically correct terminology. I decided that it really just meant corn mixed with chilies and went with the larger can of Del Monte Fiesta Corn.

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