There is something wonderful about the unnatural orange color and flavor of Kraft mac and cheese, but I have become quite a fan of mac and cheese from scratch. Simple is terrific. Cute elbow macaroni surrounded by smooth and creamy cheddar cheese sauce. However, dressing it up can be so much fun! Roasted tomatoes are a nice addition to mac and cheese as is bacon or ham. This recipe caught my eye because Ben absolutely LOVES green chiles and would put them on his cereal if it were socially acceptable…well, maybe he’s not that extreme.
This recipe came from the Southern Food section on about.com and I found it easy and delicious. The end product is a cross between creamy mac and cheese and a casserole. I loved the green chile flavor and the toasty breadcrumbs on top. I served this with a little sour cream on the side and sprinkled it with some chopped cilantro.
I used half cheddar and half queso quesadilla in this macaroni with great results. Creamy, cheesy, a bit spicy and incredibly yummy. If you have fresh roasted green chiles, then you must used them in this dish. I used canned and it was good, so fresh would be crazy good. I also used a 7-ounce can of chopped green chiles instead of the measly 4 ounces called for in this recipe.
Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup green jalapeno salsa
- 1 can (4 ounces) mild chopped green chile peppers
- 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno peppers, canned or fresh, optional
- 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, about 2 cups
- salt, to taste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional
- 1 cup fresh finely ground bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
- Cook macaroni in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain and rinse well.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir in flour and pepper until well blended and bubbly. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in salsa, chile peppers, and cheese. Cook, stirring, until cheese is melted. Taste and add salt, as needed. Combine with the drained macaroni; stir in cilantro, if using. Spoon into the prepared baking dish.
- Combine 2 tablespoons melted butter with the bread crumbs and sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly.
Serves 4 to 6.