Introduction: Nacho Mama's MacNcheese an Easy Casserole
Ok I KNOW this isn't a mexican dish but then nacho as we know them aren't really mexican, they were invented by a tired mexican restaurant owner only wanted to close but couldn't chase off a couple of hungry gringo women with money to burn. And NO it's NOT real homemade macNcheese where you blend flour and butter into a roux, then add milk to make a mother sauce and then add your cheeses and eggs and .... thats a LOT of work! Thats how my grandmother made macNcheese and I still do for holidays. My mom started using cheezwhiz processed cheese for macNcheese back in the middle ages when I was growing up so it wasn't a big leap to processed cheese dips when I needed to feed a family.
When you need dinner RIGHT now, take advantage of prepared ingredients ! I've done just that for years, especially when the kids were little and both adults worked. Like most family recipes this one has evolved over the years, ingredients aren't always on hand so you use whats available. No queso? Use nacho cheese or spiced up chedder soup and extra processsed cheese, it works as well with tuna or shredded store bought roasted chicken as it does with ground meat, barbque chips instead of doritos or even corn chips, you know what your family likes, they're the ones you need to please, NOT the recipe gods.
For those less used to working in the kitchen, a jar of cheese sauce, some shredded cheese and some boiled pasta can fool your friends into thinking you can actually cook !
Step 1: Getting Ready
You'r going to need the following to recreate this dish, feel free to make additions or deletions as your tastes demand.
1lb box of pasta noodles, any style you want
1 jar of queso cheese
1 bag of doritos
1lb of ground meat
1 package taco seasoning
peppers and onion to taste
shredded chedder cheese
processed cheese (left over velveeta tonite)
american cheese slices
Step 2: Getting Started
put a big pot of water on the stove and crank the heat to high, bring the water to a boil, season the water, now everyone says season the water its the only time you can season the pasta, then they just add salt ! I use salt and granulated garlic, sometimes some pepper flakes or hot sauce, I like to SEASON my pasta ! pour your box of pasta in the boiling seasoned water and stir.
While the pasta is cooking, place your unopened jar of queso in a pan of hot water, dice up your peppers and onions, grate the cheese if you bought a block and crunch up the bag of doritos.
When the pasta is done to your taste, strain it and let sit while you get a skillet heated, add the peppers, onions and meat to the heated skillet, season with salt, garlic, steak sauce and worceshire sauce to taste. I used 5grinds of salt, 2 dashes of garlic, tablespoon of steak sauce and 1/2teaspoon of worceshire, this is also where you would add the hot peppers if you were going to
Step 3: Mixin It Up
Pour your noodles into the casserole dish, spread the warmed queso over the noodles and add your grated cheese and cubed processed cheese, start to mix and slowly add in 2-3cups of crushed doritos.
to make plain macNcheese leave out the doritos and maybe add 1/2 package of cream cheese
In between mixing the noodles and cheese, strain the ground meat, add the taco seasoning using half the called for water and picante sauce (or salsa) and bring to simmer.
once the meat is finished, add it to the casserole and carefully stir it in ( that dish is getting pretty full by now)
you COULD stop here and pop it in the oven but I don't think so !
Step 4: Top It
lay your slices of american cheese over the pasta and meat mix and cover everything generously with the crushed doritos. NOW it's ready to pop in a 325f oven for about 30minutes !
Step 5: Time to EAT !
By now the aroma should have your taste buds working overtime, take the casserole from the oven and let sit while you make a simple salad or dig out the coleslaw. This should feed a family of 4-6 with no problem