A Jersey girl through and through, Carolyn grew up spending her summers down in Avalon, NJ. As a young girl, she often cooked alongside her mother and grandmother, whose seafood creations instilled a true passion for fresh, local produce...
Roasted poblano peppers pureed into a silky cream sauce, mixed with cheese and then stirred into steaming hot pasta, makes for an adult version of macaroni and cheese you're sure to love!
The roasted poblano peppers add a bit of heat and depth to classic macaroni and cheese!
Roasted poblano macaroni and cheese recipe
6 poblano peppers, medium size
1-2 tablespoons butter
1 small white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
3/4 heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Water (or additional milk) to thin out if needed
4 cups freshly grated mild cheddar cheese (a colby/Monterey Jack combination works, too)
1 pound pasta of choice
6 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and chopped into bits
Preheat a gas grill or broiler to high. Place poblano peppers directly on the grill (or oven's) grate and blacken peppers on all sides, flipping often. (You are looking for the outside skin of the peppers to get charred and blistery looking.) Once all sides are blackened, remove the hot peppers from the heat and immediately add them to a brown paper or zip-closed plastic bag and seal well to create a steaming environment inside the bag. Allow peppers to sit in the bag steaming, about 6-10 minutes.
Remove peppers from the bag and peel off their skin (it should peel off easily at this point). Remove the seeds from the peppers and discard. Give the poblano peppers a rough chop and set aside.
In a frying pan, over medium heat, melt your butter and then add the onion. Saute onion about 3 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and continuing sauteing the onions and garlic until softened, translucent and fragrant, about 6 additional minutes. Turn off heat.
In a food processor add chopped poblanos, sauteed onions and garlic, cream, milk, salt and pepper. Puree mixture until smooth and creamy. If mixture seems too thick, thin it out with a bit of water or milk. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Add the poblano cream mixture to a large pot and over medium-low heat, warm the cream sauce, stirring often (careful not to boil) about 4 minutes. Stir in the cheese one cup at a time until the cheese is well melted and blended into the sauce, about 8-10 minutes. Keep warm.
Cook your pasta al dente, according to package instructions. Drain pasta (do not rinse) and add the hot pasta to the pot with the poblano cream sauce. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce. Stir in the bacon bits and serve.
To reheat the poblano macaroni and cheese, place it in an ovenproof casserole dish and bake at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. You can also do this step if you prefer your mac and cheese a bit drier and with a hint of a bite.