"For I was hungry & you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty & you gave me something to drink..."

Matthew 25:35

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Avocado Mac & Cheese

 a long time ago (like 6 months) i used to not like avocado. i know, wtf right? that stuff is crazy good. creamy, buttery, fresh...i could go on but this a PG blog.

well, since getting away from that dark period in my life i've been trying to incorporate avocado into just about everything. & what better way than macaroni & cheese? none.

Avocado Mac & Cheese (adapted from 2 peas & their pod)
You Need:
10 ounces dry macaroni (i used shells)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tblsp of the stuff in the squeeze bottle)
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs (optional)
Fresh avocado chunks, for garnish (optional)

1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Salt the water and add in the pasta Stir and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. While the pasta is cooking, make the avocado sauce by placing the garlic, avocados, lime/lemon juice, cilantro, salt and pepper into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
3. To make the cheese sauce, place butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour to create a paste. Whisk in milk until smooth. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce starts to thicken. Add in shredded cheddar cheese and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is creamy.
4. Place macaroni in a large bowl. Pour the avocado sauce over the macaroni and stir until well coated. Add the cheese sauce and stir until macaroni is coated and creamy.
5. OPTIONAL- Place the panko breadcrumbs in a bowl with about 1 tblsp melted butter. Stir together. Grease a few (or 1 large) baking dishes & spoon in the macaroni mixture.

Sprinkle the Panko over the top & bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.

 Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm. Garnish with fresh avocado chunks, if desired.

Note-the lime/lemon juice keeps the avocado from browning. The mac and cheese is best eaten the first day, but it is still good the second day. The pasta may turn slightly brown, but not bad. You can totally change up the cheese flavors as you wish.
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