Posts Tagged With: Green Chile Macaroni

Green Chile Makes Zippier Mac n’ Cheese

A recent discussion somewhere on social media had people recalling their favorite foods as kids. For many, it was macaroni and cheese. Carolyn here today recalling that when my dad worked late, my mom would let me and my brother choose what we wanted for dinner. It was always macaroni and cheese. Specifically Kraft macaroni and cheese in the blue box. Recently when planning a kid-friendly dinner for my 4-year-old nephew I remembered my own childhood and made macaroni and cheese, but from scratch. He wouldn’t eat it, didn’t even recognize it. Not like what he gets at daycare. Not like the stuff in the box.

If you have moved beyond daycare food, this version of the old favorite includes ingredients that raise the flavor level many notches. It is almost  impossible to eat just one serving. The roasted poblano chiles add a deep chile flavor that isn’t too spicy. The recipe originated with Chef Robert McGrath at Roaring Fork restaurant in Scottsdale and is included in the recently re-released New Southwest Cookbook. that includes dozens of recipes that bring Southwest flavors to salads (Chile Lime Dressing), entrees (Pork with Prickly Pear Glaze), and desserts (Pumpkin Flan) . This mac n’ cheese recipe takes a little more time than dumping out the box, but it is so worth it.

Poblano chiles are broader and fleshier than the more widely available Anaheims. Roast them on a grill or under a broiler until blistered black, then transfer to a lidded casserole dish or plastic bag to steam before peeling and removing the seeds .If you have fresh corn on the cob, roast it along with the chiles. If not, canned or frozen kernels will do fine.

Roast chiles on a grill or under a broiler until all skin is blistered.

 

Open chiles and clean out seeds and ribs. Chop until you have a puree.

Chop chile flesh until you have a puree.

This is billed as four servings. Nobody eats just one serving so plan accordingly.

Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup sweet corn kernels

1/4 cup diced red onion

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1 teaspoon corn oil

2 cups cooked macaroni

1/2 – 3/4 cup puree of roasted peeled poblano chile

2/3 cup grated hot pepper jack cheese

1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half

Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Sauté the bell pepper, corn, red onion and garlic in oil in a medium heavy saucepan or deep frying pan over medium heat until the vegetables are soft. Add the macaroni, poblano puree, and jack cheese, and stir until cheese is melted. Fold in heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Ready to expand your Southwest recipe repertoire beyond the basic enchiladas and tacos? The New Southwest Cookbook can help you up your game with easy but innovative recipes. The dishes originated with top chefs using familiar Southwest ingredients in delicious new ways. These chefs were well-trained and knew how to layer flavors to come up with either new spins on the old favorites or entirely unique ways of blending the iconic chiles, corn, beans, and citrus.  The New Southwest Cookbook can be ordered from your favorite bookstore or ordered from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or the publisher.

 

Categories: Sonoran Native, Southwest Food | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

A Southwest Twist on Mac ‘n Cheese

Green Chile Macaroni gives a Southwest twist to everybody's comfort food.

Green Chile Macaroni gives a Southwest twist to everybody’s comfort food.

My husband is good at making breakfast — coffee, fruit, toast. And he can put together a salad if I have plenty of veggies in my garden or the fridge. But recently he decided he should learn how to actually cook something, and we decided on macaroni and cheese. From scratch, not out of a box. I looked in all my old standard cookbooks: The Joy of Cooking (both the 1964 and 1997  versions); How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman, and The New Basics by Rosso and Lukins. Ultimately, I decided the best recipe was in my own New Southwest Cookbook. I didn’t devise the recipe; it came from Chef Robert McGrath at the Roaring Forks Restaurant in Scottsdale.

To me the special flavor comes from the poblano chiles. I think they have a better flavor than the typical Anaheims. Frequently, but not always, they are less hot while still giving a great chile flavor. You must roast and puree them first. If you have a grill, roast them there. Otherwise, the broiler on your oven will do. The trick is to the get the skin nicely charred but not to burn the thick juicy chile walls.

These chiles are charred on one side. I have turned them to blacken another side.

These chiles are charred on one side. I have turned them to blacken another side.

Skin is easily removed after steaming.

Skin is easily removed after steaming.

Open chiles and remove seeds.

Open chiles and remove seeds.

Once the seeds are removed, puree the poblanos in a blender or food processor and set them aside.

Put some water to boil for the macaroni. Any shape will do, but I used the classic elbow-shaped. While the water is boiling and then the macaroni is cooking, you will have time to grate the cheese, and chop and saute the red pepper, onion, garlic  and corn. Use can use fresh corn cut from the cob or just canned works also.

Drain the macaroni.

Drain the macaroni.

When the macaroni is tender, return it to the pot and stir in all the ingredients. Last will be the cream. The recipe calls for heavy cream, but I used half-and-half. When I was collecting recipes for The New Southwest Cookbook, I discovered that lots of butter and cream are the professional chefs’ secret ingredients. THAT is why everything they make tastes so good.

Stir in the chile and other vegetables.

Stir in the chile and other vegetables.

Ford tastes for seasoning. It might need salt.

Ford tastes for seasoning. It might need salt.

Here’s the recipe.  It is supposed to be four servings, and it is. But everybody usually wants seconds so doubling the recipe makes sense.

Green Chile Macaroni  (Makes 4 servings)

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup sweet corn kernels

1/4 cup  diced red onion

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1 teaspoon corn oil

2 cups  cooked macaroni

1/2  to 3/4 cup puree of roasted, peeled poblano chile

2/3 cup  grated cheese (hot pepper jack, cheddar or mixture)

1/4 cup heavy cream

Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

 

Sauté the red bell pepper, corn, red onion, and garlic in the oil in a heavy pan.  Add the macaroni, poblano puree, and  cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Fold in the heavy cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Find more great recipes with a Southwest flair in The New Southwest Cookbook, The Prickly Pear Cookbook, and Cooking the Wild Southwest

Categories: Cooking, Sonoran Native, Southwest Food | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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