When it comes to cooking, who better to turn to than celebrity chef Anne Burrell for the best recipes? The Food Network star chatted with Closer Weekly in honor of her collaboration with Cheetos on an NYC-based pop-up restaurant called The Spotted Cheetah — and we must say, she really made us want to try some of their Spicy Cheetos Nachos! While she admitted “her favorite and least favorite question” to be asked is about her favorite menu item, because she “loves all the dishes” — she did admit this was one of her favorites.
“Cheetos decided to do a pop-up because they have been seeing a lot of restaurant chef using Cheetos in their dishes on their regular restaurant menus — so they were like, ‘Hm, maybe let’s create a whole restaurant around that.’ Then they got me to put together a menu using Cheetos, and it was really fun creating it,” Anne said of the pop-up, which has unfortunately already closed down.
Most of us didn’t get the chance to experience the food joint, but you can definitely try and make your own Cheetos pop-up at home. Follow these easy steps in order to recreate these Spicy Cheetos Nachos — and find even more in the official restaurant’s cookbook!
1 onion, cut into 1-inch dice
1/2 small fennel bulb, tops and stalk removed, cut into 1-inch dice
1 celery rib, cut into 1-inch dice
3 cloves garlic, smashed
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup hearty red wine
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage
1 bay leaf
1 thyme bundle, tied with butcher’s twine
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
3 cups grated fontina cheese
1 bag of Cheetos
2 cups iceberg lettuce, 1/2 inch chiffonade
2 beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch-dice
1/2 cup pickled jalapeños
1 cup sour cream
4 scallions, finely sliced on the bias
Cheetos Flamin’ Hot for garnish
1. Make the Ragú
Purée onions, fennel, celery, and garlic to a coarse paste.
Coat a wide, deep pan with olive oil, add the puréed veggies, season with salt, and bring to a medium-high heat. Cook the veggies for about 30 minutes, until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir occasionally.
After a brown residue has formed, add the tomato paste, stirring to combine. Let it brown a little, and continue stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the wine, stir to combine, and scrape up any remaining brown bits; cook until about half the wine has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add both the sweet and spicy sausage. Using a spoon to break it up, cook until the meat is brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add enough water to the pan to cover the meat by about 1/2 inch. Stir to combine well.
Add the bay leaves and the thyme bundle. Season with salt. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Continue cooking for three hours, tasting, seasoning, and adding more water as needed.
2. Mix the Cheese Sauce
In a saucepan, melt the butter and whisk the flour. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Whisk in milk and bring the mix to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
Whisk in cheese. Season with salt.
3. Assemble and Plate
Turn on the broiler.
Empty the bag of Cheetos into an ovenproof dish large enough to accommodate the entire bag of Cheetos in an even layer.
Spoon a thick layer of the sausage ragú over the Cheetos. Ladle the cheese sauce over the ragú. Place the dish in the broiler until the cheese starts to brown on top.
Top with lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeños, sour cream, scallions, and Cheetos Flamin’ Hot.
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