What to Do With Leftover Chili
I have to say, this is my absolute favorite way to eat chili. I get more excited for the leftovers than I do for the chili itself.
CHILI MAC! Something about the texture of the pasta all baked together with the spicy chili and a cheesy topping…oh. I’m reheating some in the oven right now, as I write this, and it smells delectable. I can’t wait.
Even though chili mac’s reputation is that of either unhealthy diner chow or preschooler food from a box, using a fiber-rich chili like mine and some whole-grain pasta make this a balanced meal requiring nothing more than a vegetable side, and the assertive flavors of chipotle, sharp cheddar, and scallions elevate it far beyond the blue-box fare.
All you’ve got to do is take half a recipe’s worth of this chili, mix it with about ¾ of a pound of short pasta (cooked, of course), adding in a little bit of the pasta’s cooking water if the chili has become a little bit thick and dry in the refrigerator—I used about a half cup of water—plunk it into a casserole dish, grate some sharp cheddar cheese over the top, toss a handful of minced scallions over that, and stick it in the oven at 400 until the cheese is melted and bubbling. If you want to, and I always want to, crank up the oven to broil just at the end so the cheese browns a bit.
If you make this for a special person, that person might just fall in love with you. Or promise to do your bidding forever. Watch out: chili mac is a powerful thing.