Friday, May 10, 2013

Roasted Poblano Pepper Mac and Cheese


I love playing around with mac and cheese. My kids will eat it any way they can get it... homemade or right out of the blue box (Kraft).  I love the spicy flavors of this with the poblano peppers and my kids loved it too. I actually made the recipe twice before posting it.  The original recipe I worked on was great, but I did not like the pasta I used initially.  I used orzo pasta and it was more like a risotto fake out than a mac and cheese.  I have posted a picture of the first orzo dish to the right.  This does have a few steps to it... but it's really pretty easy.  I love using a gas stove to roast the poblano peppers easily, but you can also broil them in the oven.  The flavors are smokey, spicy and fantastic.

3 large poblano peppers
1 cup chicken stock * or water/bullion equivalent
1 medium onion chopped
1 red or orange bell pepper chopped
2-3 cloves garlic minced or grated
1 tsp cumin powder
red chili flakes to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 Tbs flour
2-3 Tbs butter/margarine
1lb box pasta any shape cooked
2 cups cheese divided

 Take clean dry poblano peppers and roast over an open flame or broil in the oven until outside is blackened.  Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15-20 minutes so the skins can easily come off.

Remove outer blackened skin.  I use a paper towel to rub the charred skin off and that works well without making a mess on your hands.  Cut out the core and coarsely chop them.  Put into a food processor and blend with 1 cup of chicken broth or water/bullion equivalent and make a poblano puree.

Next boil pasta in salted water and drain 1 minute shy of fully cooked.  In a large pan heat 1 Tbs canola oil and saute onions, peppers and garlic with some salt and pepper.
When onions are softened, add cumin and red chili flakes.  Then add 2-3 Tbs butter and 2-3 Tbs flour to pan.  Stir until flour is cooked and looks like wet sand.

 Add roasted poblano puree and stir well.  Melt in cheese 3/4 of the cheese.

Add pasta to cheese sauce and mix well.  Pour mac and cheese into baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake in 375 oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted.  Serve hot.  Enjoy.

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