Disclosure: I am being compensated for this post and I’m collaborating with Latina Bloggers Connect and the California Milk Advisory Board. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
Graduation Week is here and the invitations just start coming! I used to attend graduation parties and think, what if people don’t like hamburgers and hotdogs? How can we add some Latino spice to graduation parties? Experimenting with ingredients, I came up with this individual size special Mac ‘n cheese recipe, which can serve as a side dish to other amazing dishes you’ve already planned for your party!
I named it Macaron Porteno because I had a similar dish in Argentina, using Queso Fresco, a meatless version, though! When first looking for my Queso Fresco, I did not realize that California is the number one dairy state in the US, producing more milk, butter and ice cream than any other state and is the 2nd largest producer of cheese. So using Real California Cheese, a brand I have used for this and many other recipes and in my favorite bocadillo, is an easy way to elevate every day meals and add an authentic touch.
Two ingredients are key pieces of this recipe! The Queso Fresco and the Cacique Crema Mexicana both from Real California Milk and Cheese®:
Don’t forget the Tri-Color Peppers, a must in all Latin Recipes!
Well, let’s get to it!
1 package of Queso Fresco from Real California Cheese
1 Container with Crema …. from Real California Milk
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of corn starch
1/2 stick of butter
3 Bell Peppers in three different colors
1 pound of ground beef
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
salt, pepper, cumin and paprika to taste
1 small package of cooked macaroni noodles
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Sauté 1/3 sliced onion, 2 cloves of garlic with EVOO, add ground beef, salt, pepper, cumin and paprika and cook until brown and reserve.
Sauté remaining sliced onion and garlic in butter, add milk, corn starch and stir, until sauce thickens, add crema and half cup of mozzarella cheese and cook for 5 min and reserve it.
Lightly sauté diced peppers without losing the color and texture and reserve it.
Mix white sauce and noodles, ground beef in a bowl
In individual baking cups or in cupcake sheets, place white sauce/beef mix, 1 slice of queso fresco, cover with more of the mix, sprinkle peppers and mozzarella cheese, bake in 375F until golden brown.
I made a larger version of it, in case you wish set the main dishes inside and offer it along with other side dishes!
Either way, you can’t go wrong with this recipe! Ole! You will introduce a fresh new hot idea to yours or anybody’s Graduation Party!
If you’d like to try other products from Real California Milk or Cheeses, just look for the seals: