A freshly brewed cup of coffee and snow showers at the speed of 20mph. Yes, you guessed it right. Its a Snow day which means we are at home. No school and no activities. Thursdays and Fridays are two of my busiest days of the week, for the sheer bulk of errands scheduled. And losing one day means, Friday hits the crazy note higher than expected.

And on days like this I want meal times to be a breeze, and something comforting to the soul. So Cajun Mac'n'Cheese is on the menu. Its easy, and it packs a punch of flavor. No, its not Jambalaya, so please don't get confused. My daughter went through her phase of Mac'n'Cheese for lunch every day, till she grew. tired of it. It was then ,that I came across this adult version of Mac'n'Cheese ,with a kick. Me and my husband are big fans of Creole and Cajun cooking, so Cajun seasoning I always in stock in my pantry. With species, make sure you keep checking their best by dates.  I used prawns and sausages in mine, but you can add your choice of meat. You can add diced chicken breast or roast beef chunks. You could also add in sliced onions, chopped bell pepper and scallions. I took the easier route. You can surely customize it to your preferences, or whats in your freezer and pantry.

The trick is to get the Bechamel right. Initially, when I had first making it, I landed up with uncooked flour or the flour got burnt. Now, I understand, why restaurant kitchens  have a separate post of that of a Saucier ! My daughter loved Mac'N Cheese then and I didnt want to serve her the orange packaged over processed one. So I had to get my Bechamel right, and I did. Once that was mastered, it was easy to use it in so many different things.

So are you going to give Cajun Mac'n'Cheese a try. Its easy and simple and did I mention quick ! And it brings warmth and comfort to the soul, just after the first bite.


Ingredients : 
Pasta : 8 oz ( I used Thin Spaghetti, feel free to use any kind you love)
Butter : 3-4 tbsp
All purpose flour : 2 tbsp
Cajun Seasoning: 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Salt : to taste
Cheese : 1 cup - Grated ( I used Sharp Cheddar, you could use a blend)
Black Pepper : 1/2 tsp
Whole Milk : 1 cup
Prawn : 1  cup
Sausage : 1/2 cup (You can substitute it with Chicken/Roast Beef Chunks)
Parsley : Chopped/Dried : 1 tsp
Red Pepper Flakes : 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp (according to heat preferences)

Cut the sausage in chunks and cook them. Keep them aside. In a non stick pan, melt some butter. Add in the prawns, and 1 tsp of Cajun seasoning.Cook till the prawns have turned pink. Keep aside. If you were interested in adding onion and bell pepper, then I would suggest fry them with the prawns

Cook the pasta till its al dente. Reserve 1/4 of the pasta boiling water, to be used in the final sauce later on.

In a large pan, start making your bechamel/roux. Add in butter, and fry the flour till its cooked, but not burnt. Keep stirring. It should turn light golden.

Add in the milk and keep stirring so that there are no lumps. Cook for around 2 to 3 minutes, till the sauce has started to thicken.

Add in your choice of grated cheese. I used sharp cheddar, but you could do a mix of a few kinds of cheese, for a more intense flavor. Mix and stir till all the cheese has melted.

Time for some seasonings. Add in 1 tbsp of Cajun Seasoning, dried parsley(use fresh if you have), black pepper and salt. Cheese has a salt content so taste the cheese sauce before you add in the salt.

Now add in the cooked pasta, cooked prawns and sausages, and fold in. You could add in your reserved pasta water, if you feel that the sauce needs thinning out.

Garnish with some crushed red pepper flakes for an extra kick.

Stay warm people ! Bon Appetit ! 

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