LunaCafe OtherWorldly Green Chile Mac & Cheese
Even folks (MauiJim) who are not especially enamored of traditional Mac & Cheese, love this hot and spicy, chile-laden version. For a rustic effect, serve in individual iron skillets or kettles.
1 pound, short, dried, tubular pasta, such as mini penne, garganelli, maccheroni, mostaccioli, tortiglione, or ziti (about 2¼ pounds cooked)
2 teaspoons sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups dried white bread crumbs, coarsely crumbled
2 clove garlic, pressed or minced
sea salt, to taste
9 ounces Tillamook White Extra Sharp Cheddar (aged over 2 years) or Beecher’s Flagship (aged for 1 year)
9 ounces Queso Asadero cheese
1½ ounces (about 3/4 cup) finely grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 cup minced yellow onion (4 ounces or about ½ large onion)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups Green Chile Crema
sea salt, to taste
½ cup stemmed, ribbed, seeded, red bell pepper
½ cup stemmed, ribbed, seeded, orange bell pepper
½ cup stemmed, ribbed, seeded, green poblano or Anaheim pepper
½ cup fresh sweet corn sea salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Coat an 8- to 10-cup capacity, ovenproof casserole with vegetable spray or a dab of butter; or coat six 1½-cup capacity stoneware ramekins or iron skillets. Reserve.
- To prepare the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, add 2 teaspoons of salt, return to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook until still VERY al dente. Do not cook until fully tender.
- Remove the pasta pot from the stove and carefully pour the water and pasta into a large colander to drain. Run cold water over the pasta to cool it to room temperature. Add pasta to a large mixing bowl.
- Toss the pasta in the bowl with all of the cheeses and reserve.
- To make the breadcrumb topping, in a small mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, bread crumbs, and garlic. Season to taste with sea salt. Reserve.
- To make the cream sauce, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter, 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.
- Slowly pour in the Green Chile Crema and whisk constantly while bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer, whisking continuously, for 2 minutes.
- Season to taste with sea salt.
- To finish the dish, 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 or 10-15 minutes for individual ramekins, until heated through and just bubbling. (High heat or excessively long cooking time may curdle the cheeses.)
- Broil for a minute or two to finish browning the top.
Copyright 2009-2017 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.