Poblano macaroni and cheese ~ Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight & Cook-off Series

I have to say I’m having so much fun cooking through this cookbook! I can’t believe how many recipes I want to try. Next up in the Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight Series is poblano macaroni and cheese. I’ve never cooked with poblano chiles before, and actually this was my first time “steaming” a chile….a process I’d read about many times, but never attempted.

My girls love mac ‘n cheese, but I have to be honest…I was a bit nervous to see how they’d feel about it when they saw it with flecks of green chiles in it. And since I was worried, I only bought one poblano chile instead of two. It seems my worry was unfounded because my girls not only gobbled this up…they asked for seconds and thirds and even declared it “their favorite mac ‘n cheese!” They weren’t deterred by the cilantro or the hint of lime either. Thank goodness my “foodie-ness” is rubbing off on them 🙂 And my hubby too!

I didn’t have the white cheddar called for, so instead I used a combination of muenster, monterey jack and pepper jack cheeses. I decided to bake the macaroni and cheese in my oven-safe skillet which is not something I usually do, but I thought it’d make for a prettier picture. Of course I removed the skillet with a pot holder, but then proceeded to “grab” the handle in order to adjust it for the picture. Sheesh….thankfully I didn’t do a full on grabbing of the handle and was merely a start to grab and the heat scared me away. That could have been BAD!

Poblano Macaroni and Cheese ~ 8 servings
from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

2 poblano chiles
8 ounces elbow pasta (2 cups)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp lime zest
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4 cups grated white cheddar cheese (12 oz)
1/2 cup Cotija cheese, for serving

1. Roast the poblano chiles under the broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes per side. Place the chiles in a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close it tightly, and let the chiles steam for about 20 minutes. Take the chiles out of the bag and rub off the skin. Remove stem and seeds and chop the chiles into 1-inch-long pieces.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to your package’s directions and then drain the pasta. (You want the pasta to be cooked but not mushy; I cook my pasta for 5 minutes.) *I cooked mine for about 8 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large baking dish or a large cast-iron skillet, and pour the drained pasta into the dish.

4. In a pot (you can use the pot the pasta cooked in or you can do this while the pasta boils), on low heat melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and cook until a light brown, toasty paste is formed, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and stir until it’s thickened a bit but still fluid, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the mustard powder, cayenne, cumin, lime zest, cilantro and chopped poblano chiles. Adjust seasonings and add salt and black pepper.

5. Slowly add half of the cheddar cheese and stir until it’s melted and well combined into the sauce. (If the sauce has cooled too much and the cheese won’t melt, return the pot to low heat on the stove. If, however, the sauce gets too thick, like a custard, you can thin it by stirring in milk, a teapoon at a time.) Pour sauce over pasta and top with the remaining half of the cheddar cheese and bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until brown and bubbling. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese, and serve immediately.

Variations ~ Try adding cooked bacon, chorizo, chicken, squash, or corn to the macaroni and cheese before baking. You can also substitute pepper Jack for some of the cheddar if you like. And if you like a crunchy top, add crushed tortilla chips before baking.

Coming up next in the series….Sopapillas! I was surprised at how easy they are!!

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This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef

This recipe linked up with Simple Lives Thursday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Works for Me Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday & Women Living Well Wednesday.

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21 Responses to Poblano macaroni and cheese ~ Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight & Cook-off Series

  1. Now THAT is comfort food. I’m looking forward to checking out Lisa’s book.
    Cookin’ Canuck recently posted..Caprese Quesadilla with Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Mayonnaise Recipe

  2. You know what? I actually have grabbed pans like that straight out of the oven. Numerous times. Working in kitchens is a dangerous job!! LOL…I’m so glad your girls loved this (I did, too…it’s my new favorite). It’s so cool that you’re learning new techniques, too…bonus! 🙂
    Heather @girlichef recently posted..50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #14 Elizabeth David – Mushroom Polenta Pie

  3. I am glad you weren’t hurt. I have grabbed pans like that myself–ouch! Your mac ‘n cheese looks fabulous. I loved this recipe too–such great flavors in it. 😉
    Deb in Hawaii recently posted..Quick and Easy Guava-Yuzu-Vanilla Jam: We Be Jammin’ Local Style

  4. So glad your girls enjoyed this great mac and cheese..ouch..I’ve done that many time to get a great pic..

    happy weekend!!

  5. OUCH!!! I hate when I forget that a pan just came out of the oven or off the stove. Hope your hand is feeling much better.

    Your mac and cheese looks delish!!!

    Can’t wait to see what you’ll be cooking up next week. 🙂
    Leslie @ La Cocina de Leslie recently posted..Blue Corn

  6. Mmmm…the cheeses that you improvised with sound like a perfect blend for this dish!

    Jenn Erickson/Rook No. 17 recently posted..America the Beautiful

  7. Shaina says:

    Poblanos and creamy cheese, sounds like a match made in heaven.
    Shaina recently posted..Easy School Lunch Macaroni and Cheese for Sliding into a New Routine

  8. I just loved this dish – I thought it was fantastic. I can’t wait to see what you cook for week #3!

  9. mjskit says:

    What a fantastic mac & cheese! Love the recipe and love the picture. Love the cheese mix that you substituted for the white cheddar.

  10. Mac and cheese is my all time favorite comfort food. I could probably eat it everyday. This looks wonderful

  11. Lacy says:

    This looks amazing! I’m having a serious craving for mac n cheese now, delish!!

  12. Poblanos + Mac n Cheese= Yum! I have a ton of poblano pepper plants and this will be a great way to use some of them. Thanks for sharing!

  13. ButterYum says:

    Oh my… this sounds like heaven, absolute heaven!


  14. Curt says:

    What a great idea for a recipe. Count me in!
    Curt recently posted..Smoked Nacho Cheese Dorito Meatloaf

  15. This is cheesy goodness! mmmmmmn. Denise, this looks ridiculously good.
    I would be honored if you would share it on my Recipe of the Week #2 PASTA post! There is a gift card giveaway 😉 Hope you come join in the fun!


    PS… thanks for making me super hungry at 8:00am in the morning! HA 🙂
    Corey @ Family Fresh Meals recently posted..Recipe of The Week # 2 Pasta

  16. Sara Phillips says:

    That looks AMAZING! But, what is Cotija cheese and where would I find it?

    • Denise says:

      Cojita cheese is a soft crumbly mexican cheese. It’s usually sold in a block and to use it you pinch off a bit and sprinkle it into or on top of the dish. It has a salty flavor. If you can’t find it in your cheese and specialty cheese section, parmesan or feta would make a good substitute. Also would probably be found in a local mexican market.

  17. Claudia says:

    I have more of a tendency to forget when the pan is one of those with a long handle that can go in the oven or stovetop. A great version of Mac ‘n Cheese, and I too enjoy varying that classic. My last involved hot dogs with mustard in the white sauce.

  18. Pingback: Poblano Macaroni & Cheese: The Homesick Texan Cookbook Cook Off - Salmon at Seven

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