Spicy 'Home Fries' Mac and Cheese

Spicy 'Home Fries' Mac and Cheese
Staff Writer

Maren Caruso

To me, the ultimate diner breakfast isn’t the eggs you find there, but instead it’s the potatoes, especially when they’re in the form of home fries. In this mac and cheese, those home-fried potatoes get their just due by acting as the crowning glory on the creamy, cheesy pasta underneath. I don’t have to wonder what Dr. Atkins would have said about a potato-on-pasta dish, but this is one splurge worth its weight in carbs.

6
Servings
524
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

From Mac & Cheese, Please! 50 Super Cheesy Recipes by Laura Werlin/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC.

Ingredients

  • 1  Tablespoon  plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 8  Ounces  small or medium shell pasta
  • 1/4  Cup  plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  Pound  small red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • small onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • medium green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2  Teaspoons  dried oregano
  • 1/4  Cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  Cup  whole or reduced-fat milk
  • 1/2  Cup  heavy cream
  • 12  Ounces  Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 2  Teaspoons  Frank's Red Hot Sauce, or your favorite brand, plus more for serving
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  dry mustard powder
  • Ketchup, for serving

Directions

Position an oven rack about 6 inches below the broiler and preheat to broil. Butter an 8-inch square (1½-quart) metal pan or six 8-ounce ramekins. Set aside. (Note: Do not use a glass pan or a ceramic dish for this recipe. It can break when set under the broiler.)

Fill a 4- to 5-quart pot about ¾ full with water and add 1 tablespoon of the salt. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Cook, stirring once or twice, until tender but firm, 4-6 minutes for small shells, 8-10 minutes for medium shells, and drain. Reserve the pot.

In a large skillet, heat the ¼ cup of the oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the edges are darkened and the potatoes are crisp, 10-12 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Using a slotted spatula or spoon, transfer the potatoes to a plate.

Using the same skillet, cook the onion and bell peppers, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and beginning to caramelize (darken) around the edges, 8-10 minutes. Add the oregano and salt and black pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Using the same pot you used to cook the pasta, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the flour and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and stir constantly until a paste forms, 30-45 seconds. Continue stirring for 1-2 minutes more, until the mixture starts to darken slightly and smell a bit nutty. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream and stir until the mixture starts to thicken and is just beginning to bubble around the edges, 5- 7 minutes. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add 3 cups of the cheese, the hot sauce, and mustard powder and stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth but not too runny. It should be similar in texture to cake batter. If it’s soupy, continue cooking until it thickens.

Turn off the heat and add the pasta and peppers. Stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish. Pile the potatoes on top of the casserole and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the potatoes.

Put the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and place under the broiler. Cook until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown and the potatoes that are peeking out begin to darken, 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully, because the cheese and potatoes can burn easily. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Pass extra hot sauce and/or ketchup, if desired, alongside.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
22g
31%
Sugar
32g
36%
Saturated Fat
12g
50%
Cholesterol
38mg
13%
Carbohydrate, by difference
71g
55%
Protein
12g
26%
Vitamin A, RAE
159µg
23%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
12mg
16%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
14µg
16%
Calcium, Ca
399mg
40%
Choline, total
35mg
8%
Fiber, total dietary
2g
8%
Fluoride, F
22µg
1%
Folate, total
40µg
10%
Iron, Fe
3mg
17%
Magnesium, Mg
36mg
11%
Niacin
2mg
14%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
627mg
90%
Selenium, Se
15µg
27%
Sodium, Na
1995mg
100%
Water
94g
3%
Zinc, Zn
2mg
25%

Home Fries Shopping Tip

Only buy potatoes that are firm, intact, and without any sprouts or green parts.

Home Fries Cooking Tip

Potatoes oxidize quickly; have a bowl full of cold water to put your potatoes after cutting them in order stop them from oxidizing.