Mac and cheese goes southwestern in Rach's latest crowd pleaser made with roasted green chilies.
"Chili is meat or vegetable and/or bean thick stew or, it can refer to powdered dried chile peppers," Rach says. "Chile with an e refers to peppers themselves, in this case, New Mexican green chile peppers or Hatch peppers."
This recipe celebrates Hatch Valley New Mexican Chile Peppers which can be purchased roasted and frozen or canned online and in larger markets. If you cannot get your hands on these sweet and spicy, smoky flavored chile peppers, substitute 6 large roasted poblano chile peppers, peeled and chopped.
Want some meat in your Green Chile Mac?
For a protein boost, Rach recommends adding 1 pound browned crumbled pork or chicken to the Hatch chile-cheese sauce. Pulled rotisserie chicken, 2 cups packed, would work well too.
- 1 pound tube macaroni
- 1 stick butter
- 1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped or grated
- 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- White pepper or fine ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin , or ⅓ palmful
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander, or ⅓ palmful
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, or ½ palmful
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 cups shredded cheeses, Monterey Jack and sharp white cheddar combined
- 1 pound roasted New Mexican green chiles, chopped (or 6 large roasted poblano chile peppers, peeled and chopped)
- 1 ½ cups large homemade breadcrumbs or crumbled cornbread
Preheat oven to 425˚F with rack at center.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling, salted water 5 minutes, drain, cold shock and drain again.
While water comes to a boil melt 5 tablespoons butter in large cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper, cumin, coriander, and oregano and soften 3 to 4 minutes, add ½ cup water and let it absorb fully. Add flour and stir to coat and cook the flour with the onions for a minute, whisk in the milk and thicken sauce to coat a spoon, add in cheeses to melt and then fold in the chile peppers.
Toss pasta with sauce and melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter, toss with breadcrumbs or corn bread crumbles, top the skillet and bake to brown and bubbly.