Robert McGrath’s green chile macaroni
Connor is coming home for the Labor Day weekend this afternoon. I texted him earlier this morning and asked what he would like for dinner… strangely enough he said, “rotisserie chicken and good mac and cheese.” The reason I say “strange” is because one of his most basic “college foods” is Easy Mac – so it is the last thing I’d ever guess he would want. But of course, he did say “Good” mac and cheese and that means one thing – Robert McGrath’s Green Chile Macaroni. This is the best mac and cheese you can imagine! Robert is one of my favorite chefs and honestly one of my favorite people. His cookbook, American Western Cooking has this and so many other amazingly delicious recipes.I’m writing the recipe just as it appears in the book, but I generally use only 1/4 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half.And Connor really likes to have breadcrumbs on top of his mac and cheese.If you do too, just melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet, add 1 peeled and minced garlic clove and 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs or panko and sauté until crumbs are browned.Sprinkle on top of just before serving.
Robert McGrath’s Green Chile Macaroni
1 tablespoon corn oil
1/4 cup diced polano chile
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 1 cup dried before cooking)
1/2 cup roasted, peeled and pureed poblano chile (see note below)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated hot pepper Jack cheese
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Heat the corn oil in a heavy pan over high heat and sauté the diced poblano chile, red bell pepper, red onion, and garlic until just tender.Add the corn kernels and sauté quickly.
Add the cooked macaroni, poblano puree, cream, and pepper Jack cheese. Stir until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Season to taste and serve.
Note: Poblanos and other peppers are easy to roast on top of a gas stovetop, burner, or grill. Place directly on the flame and turn with tongs until evenly blackened. Immediately put into a bowl covered with plastic wrap or into a paper or plastic bag. (I just use the plastic bag from the produce department that I brought the peppers home in.) Allow steam to build up and allow peppers to cool down enough to handle. Rub off the blackened skins with paper towels. Open up peppers and discard seeds and stems. If using for chiles rellenos, carefully slit down the center and fill. Otherwise, either dice or cut into strips and use as needed. For this particular recipe, puree in a mini-chop or blender.