St. Patrick's Day is in 5 days and I'm excited. This holiday has always been heavily celebrated in my family seeing as we have a strong Irish heritage. My grandma always loved to make it fun for me. Along with Santa, I would have a leprechaun visit me and leave chocolate gold coins scattered all over the house along with riddles printed on green paper. Every year she tells me the same thing, "You don't have to wear green because you're Irish." Unfortunately that is not true, I still wear green due to the constant pinching the years I went with her rule. I've grown some great friends and have had a lot of support with this blog I've been creating. I've been working on learning ways to cook with some cedar planks my friend Whitney gave me. The cheeses used in this post were given to me by another friend Patrick's mother. Thanks again guys.
My home consists of a boyfriend and 2 cuddly kitties, I always go big for all holidays for the 3 of them. Easter egg hunts, stuffed stockings, and Halloween buckets filled with their favorite treats. For the kitties it is usually just a couple extra catnip flavored treats. Drives them nuts. Long story short, they are spoiled. To me it's important to celebrate extravagantly to separate it from the rest of the year. I started a little early for St. Patrick's this year but am still trying to figure out what to do for Sunday. I usually end up making corned beef sandwiches and slices of more Irish cheddar that comes with green wax around it paired with a wheat cracker. Obviously, also booze.
Adapted from Beecher's
12 oz Penne
3 cups Irish Cheddar Sauce
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Irish Cheddar Sauce:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
6 ounces Dubliner Stout Cheddar cubed/grated
6 ounces Irish Cheddar cubed/grated
(You can substitute any other 12oz of cheese in this recipe)
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, once melted whisk in flour. Continue to whisk constantly for 2 minutes. Slowly add in the milk while continuing to whisk. Stir the mixture frequently for another 10 minutes until it has thickened. Remove it from heat and whisk in salt, chile, and cheeses. Stir until all ingredients are mixed together.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook penne 2 minutes less than what is recommended on packaging. Rinse pasta and pour into a baking dish, pour in Irish cheddar mixture and mix together. (You can also mix the two in a separate bowl). Cook pasta uncovered for 20 minutes. Let it cool 5 minutes before serving. Optional, sprinkle extra chipotle chile powder on the tops of pasta when serving.