Macaroni & Cheese or more commonly known as ‘Mac-n-cheese’: this one name is enough to make me drool; A big time. What? Feeling awkward? Tell me honestly what comes to your mind as soon as you hear the ‘Man-n-Cheese’? i get the vision of a big bowl full of it with bubbling cheese and loads of crispy bacon, jalapeno & red chili pepper on the top. Now it’s becoming real hard job to control myself. Thanks to my new cuppa: Adult’s ‘Mac-n-cheese’ cup which is saving my life right now as I’m taking large bites of it while I’m writing this post.
Today ‘Macaroni & Cheese’ is one of the most common and popular pasta preparations in all over the World. Traditionally pre-cooked elbow pasta used to cook in white sauce and cheese in a casserole and baked in oven. For traditional mac-n-cheese Alfredo sauce is the top choice as white sauce. But in modern culinary any other white sauce including Béchamel sauce works just fine with it. Even there are loads of variations of same old Alfredo sauce present today: garlic, parsley flavored etc. In-fact these days mac-n-cheese is not even dependent on white sauce anymore. Any of your favorite sauce can be used with macaroni pasta. That may not be traditional man-n-cheese but you will definitely relish your kind of mac-n-cheese.
In these days of fusion it’s perfectly fine to mix and match and try your luck. So after having same old mac-n-cheese repeatedly I started experiments with it. And all I can say is they were pleasant. Okay not all few of them were not upto the mark; okay they were bad. Anyways things weren’t that bad to try another experiment. This time I wanted include something different which will help me to serve them in parties too as finger food. And I wanted to present this kid’s favorite item as ‘Adult’s heartthrob’. I was planning to combine some alcohol with it and was left with two options white wine and vodka and this time I chose wine over vodka. Yes I saved it for the later one! But I’ll try that soon too.
For this mac-n-cheese version you will need Boozing Alfredo Sauce which is the heart of this recipe. Click here for the recipe of Boozing Sauce. And you will need sausages or any other meat of your choice. As I wanted to serve them as appetizer I initially thought to bake them first then I’ll slice them into squares but later I realized that will cost me enough unnecessary pressure; more than that if the squares won’t be equal which is a definite thing when I’m in charge of slicing that will be another mess. So finally I baked them in muffin trays and just decorated with little topping. Do whatever you wish for and play with them thus they will be prettier and tastier too.
Here is the recipe of Adult’s Mac & Cheese Cup with Boozing Sauce.
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Yield: 12 muffin cups
Sausage: 4 (I used pork sausage, any other kind of sausage like chicken etc will also work fine with it)
Boozing Alfredo sauce: 2 cups
Macaroni pasta: 2 cups
Breadcrumbs: ½ cup
Dried herbs: 2 tsp (mixture of oregano, parsley & basil)
Red chili flakes: 1 tsp
Black pepper powder: 1 tsp
Butter: 2 tbsp (for greasing)
Dijon mustard sauce
Red chili peppers: 2
Cream cheese: 1 tbsp per cup
Black olive: 1 pc per cup
Defrost the sausage and bring them to room temperature. Fry the sausages on low flame until browned on the sides and well cooked in the center.
Once done, remove from flame and transfer to a plate to avoid overcooking. Allow to cool a bit then cut into roundels with ¼” thickness. Cut the jalapenos and red chili peppers too in roundels. Keep them aside for later use.
Cook the pasta according to the direction on the back of the packet. Else boil 6 cups of water in a large saucepan with generous amount of salt (say, 3 tbsp). Once bubbles start forming vigorously add pasta and boil for 5 mins or al dente. That means, pasta should be soft enough to chew but firm enough to hold the shape of it. Once done drain the water and reserve the pasta to cool a bit for easy handling.
Prepare the sauce with garlic sauté in butter in a pan and add cream with the cheese and cook. For detailed recipe view Boozing Alfredo Sauce.
Preheat the oven to 2000C. Grease the muffin trays with butter. It is advisable to use butter for greasing because that’s how it taste best.
Dust with breadcrumbs. Tap off the excess breadcrumbs.
Dust with breadcrumbs. Tap off the excess breadcrumbs.
Now pour the previously cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl.
Add boozing Alfredo sauce into it. Mix thoroughly.
Add black pepper powder and mix. Adjust seasoning at this point.
Add rest of the herbs and chili flakes, mix well.
Crack the eggs one by one in the bowl directly and mix in a light hand until everything is incorporated.
Pour 1 tbsp of the mixture into each muffin cups. Add few slices of sausages and red chili peppers to the mixture and top with another 1-2 tbsp of pasta mixture.
Place the tray inside the preheated oven and bake at 2000C for 30-40 mins or until the edges are brown. Make sure you cook the cup for enough time to hard the edges. Otherwise cups will fall apart as soon as they will be taken out of the tray. For the extra brown crisp edge look, bake them for additional 10 mins at 2000C.
Remove the tray for oven and keep on the wire rack until cool a bit. Once ready to handle remove them from the mold carefully and place them on flat baking tray. You can serve it warm now else wait another 10 mins Or, garnish the cups to make them more inviting like my cups.
Place 1 tbsp of cream cheese on top of each cup. Blend it well to cover the surface. Arrange slices of jalapenos and sausages and black olive in the middle. Place them back to the oven for 5 mins at 2000C or until cheese is melting. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Enjoy this boozing mac-n-cheese as your evening snack or brunch on weekends. If you want to serve them as party appetizer use mini muffin molds or candy molds. Thus you will make a great finger food with serve with drinks!