Hatch Chile and Chorizo Macaroni and Cheese

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The finished dish

It’s peak chile season in Hatch, NM. Their annual festival was just a couple of weeks ago. The peppers are now shipping around the country, just this past weekend, we happened upon a guy fire-roasting them in front of our local Whole Foods. The smell was too much to resist.

And that’s how we ended up with about five pounds of roasted Hatch chiles.

I’d tried out a green chile and chorizo mac and cheese before, but one with the real-deal peppers needed to be shared.

The steps
The steps

So here you go:

Hatch Green Chile and Chorizo Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 to 3/4 lbs. roasted green chiles (Hatch if you’ve got ’em), chopped
  • 2 links of (Mexican/fresh) chorizo
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 pound (dry weight) of penne (shells, bowties, elbows, etc. work too), cooked 2 minutes less than package indicates

Cheese Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1/4 pound each Sharp Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese – shredded/grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the chorizo from its casing. In a heavy saucepan (the one in which you will make the cheese sauce), brown the chorizo, breaking it apart as it cooks. Once it’s cooked through/browned, remove it from the pan and set aside in a bowl lined with a paper towel to absorb excess grease.Let that sit for a few minutes, then remove the paper towel. Toss the chorizo and the peppers with the cornstarch and let that hang out while you’re making your sauce. (The cornstarch will absorb excess liquid from the peppers/chorizo that might otherwise break the sauce.)

Over medium to medium high heat, melt the butter in the same pan, scraping with a spoon or whisk to loosen the browned chorizo bits that stuck to the pan. Once the butter is mostly melted, add the flour and whisk for about a minute. Add in the seasonings and milk and continue to cook, stirring with a whisk continually, until the sauce is about to boil and gets thick. At this point, pull the sauce off of the heat and mix in half of the grated cheese. Mix in your pasta and pepper/chorizo mix. Pour all of it into a greased/sprayed Pyrex dish or other baking dish of your choice. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and pop the dish in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the whole thing is bubbling.

This serves three really hungry people or four to five more measured ones.

Notes:

  • I used Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Penne, for the illusion of something healthy.
  • The chiles we bought were labeled mild but had more than a little kick. So be careful!

 

 

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