Thursday, October 27, 2011

Satisfy the craving!

A few nights back all I could think about was Buffalo Chicken!
Spicy, crunchy chicken goodness! (source)

Something about fall weather makes me crave all things spicy.  Whether it be spicy chicken tacos, hot pho soup or buffalo chicken, this foodie loves spicy!

The problem with this craving was that I had just gotten home from a loooong day at work, I was fighting a cold and I didn't have the traditional ingredients to make buffalo chicken anything.  So fighting the urge to order take out, I did what any crazy foodie would do... I set out to curb my craving my creating a dish from what I had on hand...

After surveying my fridge/pantry I came up with the decision to make a spicy chipotle chicken and leek mac n' cheese.  I know what your thinking... Beth that is not buffalo chicken at all, but hear my out!

What was I actually craving?  Chicken, Spicy and creamy (read blue cheese dipping sauce).

What did my mac n' cheese creation have?  Chicken, spice from the chipotle peppers and creamy goodness from the cheese sauce.  It sounded good to this girl!

What I found in the apartment...

Whole Grain Macaroni
2 Leeks
3 Tbls Chipotle Pepper Sauce (i usually keep small amounts frozen since a little goes a long way)
1 Grilled Chicken Breast (leftover from previous night)
Unsweetened Almond Milk
Colby/Jack cheese (diced up slices had on hand)
Nutritional Yeast (Optional but I love the cheesy flavor it adds to the sauce)

This did go against my usual method of one pot cooking but 2 pans made the process go by quicker. While the pasta was boiling I was able to sweat the leeks in a bit of olive oil and garlic powder.  Once they have softened add in your chicken (diced) and a few tablespoons of the chipotle pepper sauce (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
After draining your pasta, use the same pot to melt butter and make a roux .  I let the flour cook a few minutes while whisking to get rid of the raw flour taste.  
 Next add in your milk of choice.  I admit, I did not really measure this but I assume it was aprox 1 1/2cups of milk.  Whisk your roux into the milk until well combined and heated.  It will begin to thicken as it heats.
Next add in your cheese and nutritional yeast (if using) and continue to whisk until cheese is melted and combined.  This sauce was much thinner than my usual mac n' cheese sauces but I think I actually preferred it that way.  When I tossed my pasta and veggie/chicken mixture into the pot the thinner cheese sauce coated every nook and cranny.
Look at that spicy cheesy goodness!!!  Is it wrong that I want to bathe in that cheesy pool of heaven? It is.. oh well!

This may not be the prettiest of dinners or even a classic buffalo chicken mac n' cheese but for using what I had on hand and ready in 30 minutes, I have to say this meal was one for the winning column.

I will make this again but as always will probably tweak it with more veggies or different cheeses.

Have you ever made something on the fly to satisfy a craving?