Creamed spinach, iceberg wedge salad, and macaroni and cheese are old steakhouse favorites, long served to us alongside our ribeyes.
It wouldn't be Texan to say we like them more than the beef, but that creamy, cheesy pasta with the newfangled breadcrumb topping does something naughty to us.
James Cole, chef-partner at the River Oaks location of Fleming's Steakhouse, adds some spice to his recipe.
The recipe, after the jump.
1 gallon water 2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 pound cavatappi pasta As needed, corn oil 6 ounces onions 4 ounces butter, lightly salted 3 tablespoon flour 2 cups heavy cream 3 cups half & half 2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon white pepper, fine grind ¾ pound smoked cheddar cheese, grated 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated 1 tablespoon corn oil 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
1. In a large stock pot, bring water and salt to a boil. With water boiling, add pasta and cook eight to nine minutes. Drain pasta and cool down under cold running water. Pasta should be slightly firm. Toss pasta in corn oil and reserve.
2. Melt butter in a large sauce pot set on medium-high heat. Add diced onions and sauté for four to five minutes.
3. Add flour and cook for one to two minutes. Do not brown.
4. Add cream, half & half, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook until thick, about five to six minutes.
5. Grate both cheeses and blend into the sauce. Add cooked pasta and place in a separate baking crocks or a 12-by-nine-inch baking dish.
6. In a sauté pan set on media high heat, add corn oil and chipotle chili powder. Heat for 30 seconds until it starts to smoke.
7. Remove from stove and quickly stir in the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over the pasta and place in a 350° F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly golden brown and crisp on top.