Garlicky Mac n' Cheese with Poblano Peppers

Jul 17, 2013

Reminder: Muffins for Muffin Online Bake Sale is going on TODAY at Kita's blog Pass The Sushi. She is doing this to raise money for a Lil Miss Muffin, a pup she found with terrible chemical burns, neglected, abused and has a long road ahead for treatment and recovery. I am donating my cardamom pistachio muffins. Please take a look at other tasty treats and bid on to help Muffin or contribute whatever you can. Click here for details.


This might shock you guys but I had no idea that such a thing called Mac n' Cheese existed...at least not for the first eighteen years of my life. 


...the thing is I grew up on the other side of the world where combining milk and cheese to pasta was a foreign concept. We ate noodles quite frequently in my house except that my mom made it with sauteed veggies, sometimes chicken pieces or eggs sprinkled with cheese and a little ketchup on the side.



Fast forward a decade (almost) and I have not had the amazing, unforgettable ultimate comfort food - Mac n' Cheese. I have tasted a bite here and there of good old boxed Kraft and ordered it as a side item few times.

Some say Atlanta has the best while others argue its in Austin. Few friends vouch for their mom's or aunt's recipe. I am not sure when I will come across the Mac n' Cheese that will make a long lasting impression on my taste buds but for now I will happily take this bowl of cheesy heaven topped with breadcrumbs that has a subtle garlicky taste and mild spiciness from poblano peppers at each bite. 


I have had something very similar before and saw a recipe @ ohmyveggies. Based on those two I created my own version and used lighter cheeses. 

Garlicky Mac n' Cheese with Poblano Peppers
makes about 4 sides or 2 entree

Ingredients
1 poblano pepper
1/4 cup milk (I used whole)
1/8 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour 

generous 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
generous 1/2 cup shredded sharp extra light cheddar 

4 garlic cloves, minced
2.5 cups cavatappi pasta, cooked (looks like corkscrew)

1/2 cup panko
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste


Directions 
- Turn on broiler. Place poblano pepper on a baking sheet and broil for about 15 minutes or until skin starts to turn little black, turning halfway through once.
- Place peppers in zip-lock or plastic bag for few minutes. Remove from bag and peel; discard stems, seeds and ribs. Chop peppers and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees. 
- In a medium sauce pan, combine milk and flour over high heat. Whisk it constantly and once it boils, lower the heat and continue whisking until it thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.  
- Stir in both cheeses, cooked pasta, poblano pepper, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Divide mac & cheese into a casserole dish or into two individual ramekins.
- In a small bowl, stir together panko, olive oil, salt and pepper and  divide equally into ramekins or casserole dish.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until panko is golden brown.

Note:
Cavatappi pasta can be substituted with cavatelli, elbow macaroni, farfalle, and fusilli (source).


 

What is your idea of perfect Mac n' Cheese?

Do you have a favorite Mac n' Cheese recipe, or a restaurant? If you do, please share.


Reminder: Muffins for Muffin Online Bake Sale is going on TODAY at Kita's blog Pass The Sushi. She is doing this to raise money for a Lil Miss Muffin, a pup she found with terrible chemical burns, neglected, abused and has a long road ahead for treatment and recovery. I am donating my cardamom pistachio muffins. Please take a look at other tasty treats and bid on to help Muffin or contribute whatever you can. Click here for details.

24 comments:

  1. This post reminds me that I haven't had macaroni and cheese in... oh my heavens, I can't even recall the last time. How sad is that? I'm completely digging this recipe, minus the poblano peppers. But hey, those can easily be taken out :)

    As usual, this recipe sounds delicious

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  2. Yes yes yes! I love poblano peppers and always look for new ways to incorporate them into my recipes! I miss Mac and Cheese, I haven't had it for so long. :( Looks good though!

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  3. Delicious! Would have never known that this was your first attempt at mac n' cheese! I have a recipe that I've been making for years that uses all kinds of good stuff - cream cheese, sharp cheddar, etc. It's my go to comfort meal!

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  4. Oh I love mac and cheese. It's one of the few comfort foods on this side of the world that I was glad to be acquainted with. I like that you added a bit of spicy to yours.

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  5. my fav! my fav! Tho i hardly make it at home as hubby is averse to mac n cheese, can u believe that?! It saddens me, haha. Poblano peppers are new to me, really hope to try making this soon!

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  6. Mac 'n cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods ever, and yours looks amazing, Dixya! Love your addition of mozzarella and poblano peppers... two things that never make it into my mac but should!

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  7. OMG this looks amazing. I used to eat macaroni and cheese basically every day when I was little. (Healthy ,right? haha)

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  8. Mac + cheese has always been a comfort food staple for me, first growing up, and even now as an adult. Your version looks SO amazing - wish I had a bowl in front of me right now!

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  9. Garlic..oh yess. I grew up with noodles and vegetables, but this is comfort food for many. You've given it your touch and I love the garlic and pablano in it.

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  10. Oooh, yum! You do need to post the recipe for those delicious chicken tikka tacos you posted on instagram.

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  11. This looks SO good, and I am loving the spicy kick to it!!

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  12. First timer or not, this looks amazing, Dixya! Have you ever tried truffle mac 'n' cheese? It's AWESOME! Another favorite is lobster mac 'n' cheese...mmm!

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  13. Thanks for the mention! Garlic, cheese, and poblanos are some of my favorite ingredients--putting them in the same recipe is deliciousness overload! :D

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  14. I sure do love poblanos! Love this recipe with our Extra Light Cheddar - I'm going to have to try this one. Looks like a new family favorite :) Thanks for the Cabot <3

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  15. Oh my gosh, this looks so so incredibly good. I haven't had Mac n Cheese in ages!!!!!

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  16. This looks so so sinful! Yum! delish!

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  17. I love that this a dressed up mac n' cheese! I sometimes find plain mac n' cheese to be a bit lacking but this version's got all the extra flavors happening. Love it! :)

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  18. I am a sucker for mac n cheese. This one looks divine.

    Nazneen

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  19. Hello my gorgeous friend, an update on your poblano mac and cheese. Made it yesterday(just added some roasted veggies), the boys and his friends asked for more and loved it...we had 10 thumbs up:)..I should post the picture of the thumbs up with your recipe...

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    1. I a so glad guys liked it <3 thank you for letting me know. Would love to see the photos.

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  20. Garlic and cheese? I'm there! It's probably a good thing that you didn't eat mac and cheese for 18 years, because then you didn't have a lot of the boxed stuff! Your version looks so much better, especially with poblanos - yum!

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  21. This looks so good Dixya. Love that you didn't even use butter.. I love sharp cheddar, but half the time it's sold out. I know, I lived without mac and cheese for a long time too... 18 years is too long. :)

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  22. This looks so delish. I don't like cheeses and have never tried mac and cheese for that matter :)

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  23. I can't believe I didn't already comment on this. I saw this on both twitter and instagram but I guess never had came and commented! OH. MY. GOODNESS. GIRL! I am going to definitely have to make this soon on one of REB's cheat days from his workout routine he's doing this month. Mac and cheese is our weakness, and our indulgence every-once-in-a-while food. Thanks for sharing!

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