Dear SOS: This past week I dined at the Purple Palm restaurant in the Colony Palms Hotel in Palm Springs. One of their appetizers is "Spicy Macaroni and Cheese." It's nothing like any mac and cheese I've ever eaten. Every mouthful was an adventure. Unfortunately, once my dinner guest tasted it, I was forced to share more than I wanted to. If you could rustle up this recipe, it would be a great addition to my summer barbecues.
Tom DeSimone Palm Springs
Dear Tom: Purple Palm's recipe gets its kick from pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. The subtle heat provides a nice contrast to the rich creaminess of the sauce and makes for a fun take on this favorite dish.
Spicy mac and cheese
Total time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8
Note: Adapted from Purple Palm.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 to 4 tablespoons pureed canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (pureed using a food processor or blender), or to taste
1 pound grated medium cheddar cheese (about 5 cups), divided
Salt and pepper
1 pound macaroni
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil to cook the macaroni. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook until it makes a smooth paste.
3. Whisk in the milk and cream, making sure there are no lumps, then whisk in the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce.
4. Stir in all but one-half cup of the grated cheese, a little at a time, until all the cheese is melted and incorporated. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and one-fourth teaspoon pepper, or to taste. Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place.
5. Cook the macaroni according to the manufacturer's instructions. Drain the cooked macaroni and stir the noodles in with the cheese mixture.
6. Place the macaroni and cheese into a greased 8-inch square baking dish and sprinkle over the remaining grated cheese.
7. Place the baking dish in the oven and cook until the top is golden brown and the cheese is melted through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly before serving.
Each of 8 servings: 589 calories; 24 grams protein; 47 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 34 grams fat; 21 grams saturated fat; 108 mg. cholesterol; 894 mg. sodium.