Ramble On

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Green Chile Mac 'n' Cheese Recipe

Yeah - it's not very green.
One of my fond memories of church pot lucks and scout dinners is the banquet-style mac 'n' cheese.  For a long time I searched for a recipe, because I knew that someday in my adult life I would like to bring this dish along to an event.  At last I found a recipe in Grit magazine, a staple of leisure reading material at Hawksbill Cabin - this one is from the January/February 2010 edition.

The green chiles are fairly mild, but they have a great flavor.  If you want to punch up the heat, you can add minced jalapeno - I added about a teaspoon to my last batch for just a hint of extra flavor.


  • 1 pound macaroni (elbow, bowtie, or shell)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (minced or pressed)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I used cheddar, jack, swiss, and gruyere blends)
  • 4 to 6 green chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped (I used two small cans)


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, butter 2 quart baking dish
2. Cook pasta al dente while preparing sauce.  Drain pasta and toss with olive oil and one clove of garlic. Lightly season with salt and pepper
3. In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent.  Add remaining garlic and cook one minute.  Add on cup of milk and stir well to blend.  Remove from heat (to prevent clumping) and mix in flour.  Add remaining milk, whisk to remove clumps.  Add paprika, salt and pepper.
4.  When sauce is hot, sprinkle in half the cheese and stir well until melted.  Taste for more salt and pepper.
5.  Toss green chiles with cooked macaroni.  Place half in bottom of prepared baking dish.  Spread half the sauce over macaroni, and add half the remaining cheese.  Repeat another layer, spread remaining sauce over macaroni and sprinkle remaining cheese.
6.  Cover with foil (use cooking spray on foil to prevent sticking) and bake for 40 minutes.

For presentation, I added bread crumbs, a little more paprika, and parley flakes to the top of the mac 'n' cheese before I put it in the oven.

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