Game nights are probably one of our most awaited weekend activities, we try to meet our friends for a game night at least once a month. It’s so much fun to just put away all of our gadgets, turn off the TV and enjoy each other’s company (and maybe some wine?). When you play with “winners” your game nights can get intense, depending on the game we are playing, and boy are we bunch of passionate folks who really like to win!
Catan and Sequence are the games that we are currently obsessed with, but this is constantly changing. Monopoly, Taboo, Pictionary or even just plain cards are some more, we like to keep it changing so it’s not monotonous. All is fun and games, but one thing that remains constant on these nights is food!!
A few weeks ago, we were hosting game night at our place and finger food is what I like to resort to for these evening shenanigans. Chips and dips are definitely a favorite as well, but on this particular day I wanted the game night to be reminiscent of some childhood favorite foods and the first thing that came to my mind was Mac and Cheese!
Who doesn’t love Mac and Cheese? It’s the perfect late night binge food, totally apt for a game night! I call this recipe the adult version of a childhood favorite. This time, I added a secret ingredient – I added green chilies to the recipe to give it a nice kick and baked the Mac and Cheese in muffin tins to make them into perfect portions of finger food.
Turns out, this was such a hit with the crew, and it was a perfect compliment to our game night where we try to let go of our adult selves and bring out our inner child!! This recipe is a hit with kids too, I would just skip the green chilies for the kiddie version. Whether you make this for your kids or the inner kid in yourself, it’s bound to be wiped out!! Enjoy!
Spicy Mac and Cheese Muffins
- 1 pack of macaroni/ elbow pasta I used gluten free macaroni from Trader Joes!
- 4-5 green chilies change as per your desired spice level
- 2 cups cheese I used equal day portion of Sharp cheddar cheese and guyere cheese, you can absolutely stick to only cheddar cheese if you prefer
- 1/4 cup grated Parmegiano Reggiano for topping
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 3 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian herbs dried or fresh, I used a mix of fresh parsley, basil, oregano
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
- Cook the pasta as per the package instructions but save about 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Melt the butter in a large pot.
- Add the green chilies and garlic and sauté for a 1 minute.
- Add the cooked pasta, and the cheddar/ guyere cheese.
- If requested, add the pasta water to adjust the thickness of the sauce. You don’t want to be very runny.
- In a separate bowl mix the bread crumbs, parmegianno Reggiano cheese and Italian herbs together.
- Line a muffin pan with liner and light spray with cooking oil.
- Place the cooked Mac and Cheese in equal portions in the muffin tins.
- Top each of the muffins with the parmegianno Reggiano-bread crumbs mixture.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until the top starts to crisps and turn light brown.