Garlicky Mac n' Cheese with Poblano Peppers
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.
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
- 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.
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.