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Buffalo Chicken Macaroni & Cheese

By Walter Staib

Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds 100% semolina fusilli
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Freshly ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 pound Dietz & Watson® Buffalo Wing Cheddar, grated or finely chopped
1/4 pound Dietz & Watson® Domestic Blue, crumbled
1/2 pound Dietz & Watson® Buffalo Style Chicken Breast
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Hungarian paprika, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F., and butter a 2-quart ovenproof casserole dish.
2. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil, and toss in the fusilli. Boil until just slightly firm (al dente), drain in a colander (do not rinse), and set aside momentarily.
3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, stir in the flour to form a smooth paste (roux), and cook for about 1 minute. Pour in the milk, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, season with salt and white pepper, and add the nutmeg and thyme. Stir in the cheeses a bit at a time until incorporated and smooth.
4. Add the fusilli and chicken to the cheese sauce, stirring gently to coat, and pour into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the top evenly with Parmesan cheese, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven, and place under the broiler until bubbly and golden brown. (Watch carefully to prevent the top from burning.)
5. Sprinkle with paprika, and serve hot.

Buffalo Cheese & Pepper Turnover
A recipe by Walter Staib

Serves 8 to 10

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
½ cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
2 cups finely grated Dietz & Watson® NY State Cheddar with Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce
¼ cup plain bread crumbs
1 pound puff pastry
All-purpose flour, as needed
2 eggs, beaten together with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Non-stick cooking spray

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat, add the onions and cook just until translucent. Add the peppers and cook until the liquid has been released and evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the cheese, bread crumbs and cooled onion & peppers. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Sprinkle a bit of flour on a flat work surface and roll out the puff pastry dough to 1/8-inch thick. Using a 2-inch cutter, cut out 20 round pieces of puff pastry.
5. Place 2 tablespoons of the cheese and pepper filling in the center of the puff pastry round. Brush the edges with the egg wash. Fold one side over and press down to seal. Using a fork, prick small holes into the top to allow the steam to escape. Repeat until all of the puff pastry rounds and all of the filling are used.
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place the turnovers on the baking sheet and brush the top of each turnover with the egg wash.
7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Chef’s Note: This recipe is a great way to use up cheese left over from holiday parties. Simply substitute 2 cups of any combination of grated cheese for the NY State Cheddar with Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce used here.

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