…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.
Garlicky Mac n’ Cheese with Poblano Peppers
makes about 4 sides or 2 entree
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
– 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.
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.