Smoked Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese

I recently smoked a big block of Velveeta. When I first mentioned the idea you could actually hear the gasps. Half were in amazement, half were not impressed. Well, for those not on the smoked Velveeta train, time to admit you were wrong because it’s crazy, crazy good! My first recipe for it? Yep, smoked Velveeta macaroni and cheese!
Smoked Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese

You could make this recipe with ‘regular’ Velveeta instead. But I have to say, smoked Velveeta macaroni and cheese is something special. The flavor is just right. The creaminess is what you’d expect.

This recipe is also fantastic using smoked cheddar cheese, something I’ve made a few times also. You can also find smoked cheddar in most stores. Sadly, you cannot find smoked Velveeta in stores. Yet.

Smoked Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound dried elbow macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 3/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 pound smoked Velveeta chopped (you can substitute smoked shredded cheddar)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, 7 minutes. Rinse and drain well.
  • Drain water from pot and add 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat.
  • Add the onion and cook until just soft.
  • Add the cubed Velveeta, milk and mustard. Stir and let cook until the cheese has melted and is smooth, stirring often. You want the sauce to thicken until it sticks to a spoon, 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in the cooked macaroni. Pour into a lightly greased 9" x 13" baking dish.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and hot.
  • Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a small saute pan.
  • Add the Panko and stir until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the mac-and-cheese. Slice and serve.

Mississippi Mud Cheesy Potatoes

I’m lucky in that I usually love darn near everything i make. These Mississippi Mud cheesy potatoes are definitely no exception. In fact, love may be an understatement. Anita and I both devoured them. You just can’t beat the tender potatoes, ooey gooey cheese, crunchy smoky bacon, and green onions. It’s a lot like having a loaded baked potato, and yep, you guessed it, I love loaded baked potatoes too.
Mississippi Mud Cheesy PotatoesThe only possible change (and really, it’s a stretch perhaps) I would make to these Mississippi Mud cheesy potatoes would be to add a roasted jalapeno or two. Actually, that’s not a stretch at all. Or maybe a pinch or two of smoked paprika or chipotle powder. Yeah, I’m going that for sure now!

Also make my delicious melting potatoes.

Mississippi Mud Cheesy Potatoes

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings

Ingredients

  • 10 cups Russet potatoes diced (about 5 medium potatoes)
  • 1 pound shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pound thin-sliced bacon cooked, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 325 F.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Pour mixture into a 9" x 13" casserole dish.
  • Bake for 1 hour until the potatoes are tender.

Spicy Red Onion Rings

Oh, all those years spent eating (and enjoying!) onion rings made from white or sweet onions. Not wasted years, but years of missed opportunities of eating spicy red onion rings. Spiced up with a fantastic kick not only from hot sauce but from that red onion bite, these rings are the things dreams are made of. The batter is perfect. No batter loss here, the coating sticks perfectly and comes out crazy crunchy. These are what rings should be.
Spicy Red Onion RingsAlthough there’s certainly nothing wrong with ketchup on spicy red onion rings, I prefer something a bit more ‘deep’ so I made an easy dipping sauce of mayo and a few other ingredients I had on hand. The dipping sauce is also great for dipping fries, potato chips, carrot sticks, you name it. And it’s also fantastic on burgers!

This is yet another great recipe I found in Margaritaville: The Cookbook. It is absolutely full of great dishes!

Also try my fried onion strips with a wonderful dipping sauce.

Spicy Red Onion Rings

Note: For a little extra spiciness, let the rings marinate in the buttermilk/hot sauce mixture for 1 hour before battering and frying.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 large red onions cut into thick rounds, rings separated
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the dipping sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • Couple dashes of kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions

  • Heat 2" of oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.
  • Whisk the buttermilk and hot sauce together in a pie plate.
  • In another pie plate, combine the flour, cornstarch and salt.
  • Working in batches, dip rings in buttermilk, then flour. Repeat.
  • Transfer to fryer in batches. Do not overcrowd. Fry for about 2 minutes, flip and fry another 2 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
  • Serve with dipping sauce.

For the dipping sauce

  • Whisk together all ingredients.