Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bite You Back Pasta

I've made a blonde roux before. I've made a dark roux before. But until tonight, I've never made a “redhead roux”.

But first, here are some shots from this past weekend's Bloomin', Barbecue & BluegrassFestival in Sevierville. Alexis and I spent a sunny day in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains hanging out with the KCBS BBQ comp folks, shopping the vendors, and listening to bluegrass music. I'll post more details about the event and some of the fascinating teams I met later on this week.

I came up with this recipe on the 20 minute drive home from work tonight. I had 4 links of raw chorizo to use and I thought about Alexis' Italian Sausage Alfredo sauce. I day dreamed about making a Tex Mex version of that dish. I zoned out of the traffic on I-640 and went through the mental pantry of what I had at home. It was kind of hard to concentrate about it, with all of the shrieks or terror and honking car horns around me as I drove weaving home obliviously through the interstate traffic. (Kidding...I'm a semi-responsible driver.)

Bite You Back Pasta

3 Tbsp jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
¼ cup sweet peppers, seeded and finely diced
1 ea shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
½ tsp Mega's taco seasoning recipe from Hot Sauce Daily
1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp collected drippings (see recipe)
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese (I did ½ cup pepper jack, 1.5 cups sharp cheddar)
½ cup sour cream
1 lb pasta, cooked
1 Tbsp oregano, fresh, finely minced

Remove the pasta from the casings, crumble into pieces, and brown over medium high heat. Break the meat pieces up into small pieces as it cooks down, this sauce does better with smaller pieces at the end.

Place a colander over a bowl or plate. Remove the meat to the colander.

Add the peppers and shallow to the pan and cook over medium high heat for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Remove to the colander with the meat.

Pour 3 Tbsp of the collected drippings from the plate/bowl under the colander back into the hot pan. Add the butter and flour, stirring continuously for about 5 minutes until you get a nutty aroma. Don't be alarmed over the flaming red/orange color cause by the chorizo drippings.

Thoroughly whisk in the 2 cups of milk and taco seasoning. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Whisk in the cheese and cook another 5 minutes.

Stir in the meat, veggies, and sour cream.

Serve over cooked pasta and garnish with the oregano.

The peppers & seasonings gave it a flavor punch, the spicy cheese sauce made it creamy, and Alexis couldn't say enough about how much she loved this. It was rich and delicious but if I was just making it for me, I'd add in some diced habanero. If you don't like hot foods, sub some diced green or red bell pepper out for the jalapeno.