Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Cooking Sucks: Mexican flair gives mac and cheese a new meaning

Right when you thought this classic meal couldn’t get better, it does
Jonathan Sogin

This past week, I finished my last midterm. While most people would probably be ecstatic, I am not  I have six group projects to complete between now and the end of the semester. Nevertheless, to “celebrate” the completion of my last midterm, but mostly wallow in misery, I wanted to make mac and cheese.

Taco mac and cheese

This mac and cheese uses a basic white sauce called béchamel as a base for the cheese sauce. This white sauce can be used to make a variety of cheese sauces, but I wanted to spice things up so I threw in some taco-style ground beef. This is not the sexiest looking dish, but it will remedy any despair.


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  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1/2 pound of pasta
  • 2 cups of 2 percent milk
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 8 oz of shredded cheese (Mexican blend)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Jalapeño, sliced

Taco seasoning

  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of sugar


  1. Mix together all seasonings for the taco seasoning.
  2. Boil enough water to cook the pasta.
  3. In a sauté pan, brown the ground beef on medium-high heat with the taco seasoning, making sure to break up any large chunks. Set this aside for later.
  4. In another sauté pan, melt your butter on medium heat then whisk in the flour and milk.
  5. Bring the sauce to a boil — it will thicken. (This is the béchamel sauce).
  6. Add your pasta to the water and cook until al dente.
  7. Add the cheese to the sauce, setting some aside for garnish.
  8. Once the cheese is fully incorporated, add the ground beef and cook for an additional two minutes.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste and then reduce the heat to low.
  10. Drain the pasta once it is done cooking and add to the sauce.
  11. Portion into bowls and garnish with cheese and freshly sliced jalapeño.


As always, hit me up with questions, comments or concerns,

Chef Sogs

[email protected]

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