Green Chili Mac & Cheese
Adapted from http://thelunacafe.com/world-famous-green-chile-mac-cheese/
Serves 8 to 10; Prep time: 30 – 45 mins; Cook time: 1.5 to 2 hrs. total
Read through the whole recipe and first make the Green Chili Crema, then prep other ingredients (Mis an place!) and go for it.
Green Chile Crema Ingredients
2 cups heavy cream
26 oz. fresh green Anaheim chiles, roasted then stemmed, peeled, seeded, chopped; about 3 cups. (Or canned green chiles, drained. Or two 13-ounce cartons of Bueno Mild Organic Green Chile, available frozen from Whole Foods)
1 tomatillo, papery skin removed, sticky coating rinsed off, stemmed, chopped
2 TBS minced garlic
3 green onions, green parts only, chopped
kosher salt, to taste
Directions – Green Chili Crema
In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and add the chiles, tomatillo, and garlic. Simmer gently for 2-4 minutes and then remove from the heat. Let cool.
Pour cooled sauce in a blender, add the green onion; liquefy sauce.
Taste it and add salt if necessary.
Pour the crema through a mesh strainer to remove any remaining coarse particles. The crema should be very smooth. Later in the recipe, it’s helpful to have the Green Chile Crema in a gravy bowl or large glass measuring cup to easily & slowly pour into cream sauce and combine.
1 lb. short dried tubular pasta with ridges: mini penne, conchiglie, macaroni, etc.
2 tsp kosher salt
6 TBS unsalted butter, melted
2 cups dried white bread crumbs, coarsely crumbled
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
kosher salt, to taste
9 oz. White Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated
9 oz. Queso Asadero cheese (or good queso melting cheese, not jarred cheese), grated
1½ oz. or 3/4 cup Parmesan, fresh, finely grated
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 cup minced yellow onion (4 ounces or about ½ large onion)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups Green Chile Crema
½ cup red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced
½ cup orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced
½ cup green poblano or anaheim pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced
½ cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Directions – Mac & Cheese
Butter a large casserole dish that is 8 to 10 cup capacity and that’s oven-proof .
Cook pasta: bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil; add 1 TBS of kosher salt; add the pasta. Cook as directed to just al dente, or slightly underdone. Do not cook until fully tender. Drain pasta. Add pasta to a large mixing bowl. Toss the pasta in the bowl with all of the cheeses and set aside.
Make breadcrumb topping: in a small mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, bread crumbs, and garlic. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
Make the cream sauce: in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over med/low heat, add the onions, and slowly cook until onions are just beginning to soften. Add the peppers and corn, and stir to coat with butter. Stir in the flour and cook without browning for two minutes; lower heat if needed. Slowly pour in the Green Chile Crema and whisk constantly while bringing the sauce to a simmer over med/low heat. Simmer, whisking continuously, for 2 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt.
Put it together & bake: pour the sauce over the pasta and cheeses in the bowl. With a large spatula, fold to combine. Spoon into the prepared casserole, mounding slightly at the center. Sprinkle on the breadcrumb topping. Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes for the single casserole, 10-15 minutes for individual ramekins, to just bubbling. (Caution: high heat or excessively long cooking time may curdle the cheeses.) Broil to finish browning on the top for a minute or 2.