Hatch Mac and Cheese

It’s Hatch chile season and our local stores are overflowing with roasted peppers and delicious, hatch-enhanced products. I’ve seen chile mac and cheese at restaurants, but I decided to fake up my own version and it was delish.

I know, I’m cheating by buying delicious Hatch peppers instead of using the ones in my CSA box. The problem is, I never know how hot they’re going to be, and I wanted to feed this particular meal to the toddler. She can handle a little spice, but nothing too blazingly hot.

This recipe is based closely on Alton Brown’s Stovetop Mac n Cheese, but I’ve made quite a few small modifications, so I’m going to transcribe it here.

  • 1/2 pound shell pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces nonfat evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 10 ounces grated cheese – I used a combo of cheddar, chihuahua, and pecorino
  • 1 C roasted, peeled and coarsely chopped mild Hatch chile
  • 1 C panko
  • Extra pecorino for topping
  • Spice mix

Directions

Melt 1 tbs of butter and mix with panko.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in 2 tbs of  butter. Toss to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy. Add chopped chile.

Pour mixture into an 8×8 pan and top with buttered panko, a thin coating of pecorino, and a sprinkle of spice mix. Run under the broiler for 5 minutes or until browned.

Main changes from the original recipe – I leave out the salt. The cheese has plenty o’ salt, especially if you use pecorino romano. If you’re using something milder, you might want to add it back in. I use half the butter, because I think it’s rich enough, and I also use nonfat evaporated milk when I can find it. I am not claiming this recipe is in any way healthy, but I lighten up what I can without sacrificing the taste.

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