I recently prepared a Macaroni Salad with Cheese and Chipotle for a gathering of friends. It was a new recipe but friends do not mind being guinea pigs! The only thing I was nervous about was that the recipe called for three tablespoons of chipotle....you know that was destined to be a super spicy hot side dish! Since I didn't want to run my friends off, I decided to add the chipotle a tablespoon at a time and taste test in between. It seemed the prudent thing to do.
There was one little thing that happened....at least, I thought it had happened....I was squeezing my lemon juice into the salad when I heard a pop. Thought about it and kept on mixing. It kept niggling at me. Upon investigation I noticed that one screw on the lemon juicer was missing...hmmmm....had it already been missing and I hadn't noticed, or, did it just then pop into the macaroni salad?
I poked around in the salad with a fork and didn't find anything...but, this was a ton of salad and the screw was tiny. Since I really didn't want anybody to break a tooth, an additional search was necessary. So, a spoonful at a time was removed from the bowl and checked for a screw! While one was not found, I did give fair warning to friends, just in case!
This wasn't a king cake, nobody got the prize for finding something strange in the salad!
Macaroni Salad with Cheddar and Chiptole
adapted from America's Test Kitchen
1 1/2 pounds large elbow macaroni
1/2 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
3 Tbsp minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/2 cup minced red onion
3 ribs celery, minced
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
3 Tbsp lemon juice
5 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 1/4 cups mayonnaise
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta plus 1 1/2 Tbsp salt and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water until cool. Transfer to a large bowl.
Stir in the cheddar, onion, celery, parsley, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic powder and cayenne. Add the chipotle a tablespoon at a time, taste testing in between. Or, if you are brave, add all three tablespoons at once. Let the mixture sit until the flavors are absorbed.
Stir in the mayonnaise and allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes while the may is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
The Test Kitchen says that the salad may be refrigerated for up to a day. They recommend mixing in 1 Tablespoon of hot water at a time to refresh the salad prior to serving.
We decided that we would definitely make this again. There was something about the sharp cheddar and the tang of the chipotle. Delicious!
You will be happy to know that I am the proud owner of a new lemon juicer!