It’s chilly again here in NYC. That’s April for ya. Is it April? I’ve been ordered to stay home by Governor Mario Cuomo, and it’s not that bad, once you consider why all this is all happening. Lord knows, I needed the rest, I’ve been working 40 plus (mostly plus) hours a week, while maintaining my food blog, juggle social media, and do whatever else you need to do in order to keep a halfway normal lifestyle. Even when I get out of town, it’s usually packed with dinners, reservations, activities, it’s not exactly restful. So yes, I juggle my “free time” with boredom and rest. And lots of cooking. I hope you also rest plenty, and cook lots of new recipes. This Chili Mac & Cheese is both easy and yummy. It can feed a whole family for dinner, or if you’re alone or quarantining with a partner, you’ll have enough for at least a couple of days.
What you’ll need:
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 1 jalapeños, stemmed and minced
- 1 tbsp salt, plus more for pasta
- 5 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 2 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomato
- 2 cans kidney beans
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese
Heat olive oil in a Dutch Oven or large pot. Add beef, onions, jalapeños, garlic, and 2 tsp salt, and cook for 2 minutes. Brown the meat, breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water, stir, and bring the chili to a boil. Add chili powder and oregano. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While the chili is simmering, prepare the elbow pasta according to the instructions. Place a 9 x 13 inch oven proof dish, and add the pasta. Add 1/3 off the cheddar cheese.
Add the chili, then top off with the remaining cheddar cheese. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream.