South of the Border Pasta Bake
- 4 oz pasta
- 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 t ground cumin
- 1/2 t ground coriander
- 3/4 t chili powder
- 1/4 t ground black pepper
- 1 T oil
- 1/2 c chopped onion
- 1/2 diced red bell pepper (65g)
- 1 T diced jalapeno pepper
- 1 T minced garlic
- 1.5 T Flour (Plain)
- 1/2 t Salt (Table)
- 1 c milk
- 1/2 c shredded cheese (cheddar & parmesan blend)
- 3 T finely chopped cilantro (fresh)
- 1/4 t cayenne
- 1/4 t garlic powder
- 1/4 t paprika
- 1/4 t dried basil
- 1/2 t dried mixed herbs
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cook pasta about 4 minutes (only about half done); drain and set aside.
2. Place chicken in a zip-top bag. Add cumin, coriander, chili powder, and pepper. Toss to coat. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add seasoned chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly done, about 5 minutes. Add onions, peppers, and garlic to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, whisk milk into flour and salt. Pour into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and stir in cheese. Remove from heat and stir until cheese is melted. Add cilantro and seasonings, and stir to blend. Add pasta to chicken mixture. Pour cheese sauce over all and stir to blend.
3. Spoon into an 8"x8" baking dish. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until heated through and bubbling.
SJ Note 6 Sept 2014: It's a good start. We're still tinkering with the flavoring on this one; it's getting there. It could do with more crunchy bits of pasta, so I've upped it from 375F to 400F - watch it carefully next time.