Chris' Tex-Mex Mac and Cheese enjoys a little bit of heat from the poblano peppers, which gives this classic comfort food its Tex-Mex flair.
2 poblano peppers
2 ears fresh corn, husks removed
8 ounces uncooked rotini or fusilli pasta
1/2 cup chopped cooked Mexican-style chorizo
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
3 cups (12 oz.) shredded pepper Jack cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3 tablespoons melted butter
How to Make It
Preheat broiler with oven rack 5 1/2 inches from heat. Broil peppers and corn at the same time on an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan. Broil peppers 10 minutes or until blistered, turning after 5 minutes. Broil corn 20 minutes or until charred, turning every 5 minutes. Place peppers in a zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins. Peel peppers; remove and discard seeds. Chop peppers. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Reduce oven temperature to 400°.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water to cover 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain.
Cook chorizo in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp; remove chorizo, and drain on paper towels. Discard drippings.
Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour until smooth, and cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes or until golden brown. Slowly whisk in milk, and cook, whisking often, 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, and gradually add cheese, stirring until smooth. Stir in chopped peppers, corn kernels, chorizo, salt, and pepper. Gently stir together cheese mixture and pasta in a large bowl. Spoon into 6 (8-oz.) ramekins.
Combine tortilla chips, panko, and 3 Tbsp. melted butter; sprinkle over pasta.
Bake at 400° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Made this when my sister was visiting from Texas, we absolutley loved it. I made no substitutions except for using a larger casserole dish and baking a little longer maybe 25 minutes. Served with tossed salad.
Wow!! This is seriously some kind of delicious! One of the few meals I've made that my entire family eats with equal enthusiasm. Everyone from my 18 month old all the way up to my grandparents ask for seconds (and thirds). When I make it, I do substitute a few things just to speed up the preparation a bit: one can of green chiles for the poblano peppers, 8 oz. of hot Jimmy Dean sausage for the chorizo, and plain old frozen corn instead of grilled. I have also added leftover grilled chicken with great success. I also cook it in a 9x13" casserole dish.
Don't wait, make this mac 'n cheese tonight - you won't regret it!!