Barbecue Mac and Cheese

07aMacCheeseCassbfLOThe holidays – and our holiday gathering – were in the past, but, due to a combination of sales promotion, coupons, and my husband not having lunch before he joined me at the market; I had a SERIOUS number of bags of chips to deal with.

What to do?

Why, da GOOGLE, of course – and the nice folk at Frito Lay had some very promising looking solutions – everything from cookies to cauliflower to… this recipe.

01aGratedCheddarbfLOThe only thing is – I thought the end product was a tad too salty, so, apologies to the nice folk at Frito Lay, but mebbe leave the chips off this recipe when you make it – because, otherwise, it really is most excellent – or, mebbe top it with more Cheddar as opposed to the called for Parmesan.

03cOnionAddFlourbfLOINGREDIENTS
•2 cups dry macaroni, cooked and drained
•2 tbsp butter
•1-1/2 cup diced sweet onion
•2 tbsp flour
•1-1/4 cup milk
•Salt
•Pepper
Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp dried parsley
•1/4 cup barbecue sauce
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce
05aAddBBQbfLO•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce (or your fave hot sauce, to taste)
•1-1/2 cup crushed potato chips*
•1-3/4 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
•1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

*The nice folk at Frito Lay suggested Hickory Barbecue chips, I went with what I had, which was plain.

Preheat oven to 375º.

Heat a large pot (the one you cooked the macaroni in would be a good choice) over medium heat.

Add butter to the pan, then add the onions and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and a bit browned.

05dCheeseSaucebfLOWhisk in the flour and cook for another three minutes or so, until the onion and flour mixture is a deep gold color.

Slowly whisk in the milk. Add salt, black and Aleppo peppers, and parsley, then cook for five minutes.

Add the cheddar cheese and BBQ sauce and stir until the sauce is blended in and the cheese has melted.

07cAddParmbfLORemove from the heat, then stir in the cooked and drained macaroni.

You could, at this point, call it mac and cheese, mebbe gently heat it all over a low flame until heated through, and serve this puppy – and it would be a fine choice.

08aBBQMacCheesebfLOOr…

You could transfer the mixture to a two quart or so casserole, then top the macaroni with the chips and then top that with the Parmesan and bake the whole thing for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Or…

You could mebbe substitute American or Cheddar cheese for the Parm and bake until golden brown and a bit bubbly.

Might could save you on the whole too salty (at least to me) thing.

08bBBQMacCheesebfLOIrregardless…

The nice folk at Frito Lay have given us a very tasty riff on mac and cheese – the barbecue cheese sauce is sheer genius, in my not-so-humble opinion – and you really should try a batch…

Just, be careful of the salty.

Y’know what they say:

“Forewarned is forearmed.”

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