Green Chile Mac and Cheese
So, our markets are awash with New Mexico Hatch green chiles right now, and our garden is bursting with poblanos and Anaheims.
This is not a bad problem to have.
We may complain about the zucchini beast and her cousin the cucumber monster, but the chile plants? Uh uh. We roast and eat every one. Here’s my new favorite recipe for putting to good use garden or market green chiles—a green chile mac and cheese casserole, with corn. Yum!
This is so crazy good that even my friends who typically shy away from cheesy dishes asked for more. There’s something about the trio—green chiles, corn, and cheese—that’s irresistible. The splash of lime? Perfect.
We used a mixture of hatch, anaheim, and poblano chiles for this dish, but any combination of those you'd like will work. Just remember to taste test the chiles before adding them to the casserole. Even though these are mild green chiles, once in a while you'll get a hot one!
Some markets sell a "Mexican blend" of shredded cheese; feel free to use this cheese blend in this recipe.
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1/4 pound (1 cup, packed) finely shredded jack cheese
- 1/4 pound (1 cup, packed) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup corn kernels (frozen is okay, if frozen, defrost before using)
- 1 1/4 cups chopped roasted, seeded green chiles (or three 4 ounce cans diced roasted green chiles)*
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup panko or other breadcrumbs
*If you are roasting your own chiles (highly recommended), start with about 5-6 large green chiles—Hatch, Anaheims, or poblanos, or a mixture—and char them over a gas stove (see directions for roasting over a gas flame), under a broiler (roast until one side has blackened, then flip to blacken the other side), or on a grill. Place in a covered bowl to steam, then peel off the charred skin. Remove and discard the seeds and stems.
1 Cook the macaroni very al dente: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (a tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water). Add the macaroni pasta. Return to a rolling boil, and boil, uncovered, for about 2 minutes less than the cooking time given on the pasta box instructions.
The pasta should be mostly cooked, but still a little too firm to eat; it will complete its cooking in the oven.
When the pasta is ready, drain it into a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking.
2 Preheat the oven to 400°F.
3 Make a roux with butter and flour: In an ovenproof pot such as a casserole or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted and bubbly, stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook this, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. You don't want the roux to brown.
4 Slowly whisk in milk, then the cheeses: Add the milk to the roux, a little at a time, stirring constantly so that lumps do not form. Whisk until smooth.
Stir in the cheeses third at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition.
5 Stir in pasta, chiles, corn, lime juice, salt: Add the macaroni, chiles, corn and lime juice and stir until well combined. Taste for salt, add a teaspoon, less or more, if needed.
6 Top with panko and bake: Top the mac and cheese with panko or breadcrumbs. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes at 400°F, or until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.