Traditional Mac & Cheese has become a staple at the Thanksgiving table, however with the holidays coming up, I thought about doing a twist on the Mac & Cheese. One of my favorites is Lobster Mac & Cheese, but it’s really rich and although it would be a great idea for Feast of the Seven Seas during Christmas, I don’t think it’s a great idea for a turkey dinner.
This year to spice things up, I’m thinking about a Cajun Turkey. With the influence of the South for my main course, I think adding some spicy flavor to the Mac & Cheese would be great. After all, I’m still going to have the traditional stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and biscuits, so a Chipotle Mac & Cheese would be awesome. And how about adding some shrimp to it for skipping the lobster? I think shrimp is a nice little surprise in the Mac & Cheese, and with the Cajun spiced turkey it brings a little extra Creole hint to the meal. Chipotle Shrimp Mac & Cheese is rich and creamy and has a flavorful kick to it. I also use penne pasta rather than macaroni to create a more elegant dish. This Thanksgiving, kick it up a notch with Chipotle Shrimp Mac & Cheese.
8 oz. penne pasta (I used rice penne)
1/2 lb. Large Jumbo Shrimp (about 6 to 8 pieces)
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon of Finely Chopped Garlic
½ Teaspoon of Red Chili Pepper Flakes
½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon adobo sauce (from a small can of chipotles in adobo), more if desired
1 8oz. carton of crème fraîche
1/2cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Add the penne and cook according to package directions until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cleaned and deveined shrimp by sprinkling with black pepper and salt making sure that it is well seasoned.
- In a Sauté pan melt the butter over medium heat, then add the garlic and cook until it softens. Add the red chili flakes to the pan.
- Add the shrimp and cook each side until it is just pink.
- Add the adobo sauce to the container of crème fraîche and stir together. Taste and add more adobo, if desired.
- Drain the pasta and pour into a small casserole dish.
- Add the cooked shrimp.
- Add the crème fraîche mixture and stir until all the pasta and shrimp are well coated.
- Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the Parmesan has turned golden brown and is beginning to crisp.
- Serve immediately.