Extra-Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese with Green Chiles
This ultra-creamy, delicious macaroni and cheese recipe comes from Sur La Table's book Simple Comforts: 50 Heartwarming Recipes. The mild green chiles add just a little kick to the dish. Combine that with the smoked paprika and the flavor is different enough to be interesting without losing that comforting mac and cheese quality.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
- Coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
- 1 can (4.5-ounce) chopped mild green chiles, drained
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth; cook 2 to 3 minutes, whisking frequently. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking vigorously. If the sauce gets lumpy, don't worry; just keep whisking until smooth. Lower the heat and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes, whisking frequently, until creamy and smooth. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, the mustard and nutmeg if using, and the black pepper.
Take the pan off the heat and add 2-1/2 cups of the cheddar and half the parmesan cheese. Whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Taste and add more seasonings if you like. It should be salted well, as the sauce will flavor the macaroni.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 2 tablespoons salt, and boil the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain well, return to the pot, then toss with the sauce until thoroughly coated. Add the green chiles and pile into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish or four 6-inch cast-iron skillets. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheddar and parmesan.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and toss with the bread crumbs and smoked paprika; distribute over the macaroni. Bake until the topping is browned and the macaroni is hot, about 20 minutes. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Simple Comforts: 50 Heartwarming Recipes
from Sur La Table
Hardcover (144 pages) | Find on Amazon
Simple Comforts: 50 Heartwarming Recipes is a collection of traditional American comfort foods put together by the folks at Sur La Table.
The book is filled with modern, sophisticated versions of classic dishes like Tomato Soup, Chicken Pot Pie and Beef Stew. The recipes are well written and many include several variation ideas to provide great inspiration for the creative cook.
Chapters include, Sweet Breads; Savory Breads; Soups, Stews and Sandwiches; Main Dishes; Side Dishes; and Desserts.
Some of the other recipes we plan to try are:
- Banana Chocolate Chip Bread with Chocolate Icing ~ a dessert-quality version of classic banana bread
- Beef Stew with Zinfandel and Dried Porcini Sauce ~ beef stew with a richly-flavored mushroom sauce and aromatic additions like orange zest and fresh thyme
- Tomato Soup with Saffron Cream ~ a luscious twist on good old tomato soup made with fresh tomatoes, leeks and saffron
- Apricot-Cherry Almond Cobbler ~ a fabulous take on apple cobbler enhanced with amaretto liqueur and a cake-like topping made with almond paste
Simple Comforts is the perfect go-to source when you're looking for modern inspiration combined with classic comfort food.