Poblano and chorizo bring the perfect amount of heat and flavor to this creamy, cheesy mac and cheese!
- 1 pound shell pasta (medium to large)
- 6 cups whole milk (reserve 2 cups for sauce)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 8 ounces monterey jack cheese, freshly grated
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 1 pound chorizo (about two links), 1/2″ dice
- 2 poblano peppers, seeds removed, 1/4″ dice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
For the topping:
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- Preheat your oven to 400F. Lightly butter a 9×13 baking dish.
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat milk over medium heat. Stir in pasta. Cook until just tender. Drain the pasta reserving 2 cups of the milk for the sauce.
- In a large skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil on high heat. Add chorizo and sauté 2 to 3 minutes before adding poblanos. Sauté until chorizo is browned and peppers are slightly tender. About 7-8 minutes.
- In a dutch oven or large, deep sided skillet make the roux. Melt the butter over medium heat, add flour to the melted butter, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Slowly add 2 cups of the reserved pasta milk, stirring to incorporate, scraping the bottom of the pan. The roux will clump but continue to stir and the clumps will dissolve. Switch to a whisk to remove any remaining clumps.
- Add the fresh grated cheese, one handful at a time, whisking until the cheese has melted before adding more. Once the cheese is incorporated, add the salt and ground mustard.
- Stir in the poblanos and chorizo followed by the pasta. Stir well to evenly coat all pasta with cheese sauce and distribute the chorizo and peppers.
- Transfer to the 9×13 baking dish. Top with breadcrumb topping and baking until cheese is bubbly and breadcrumbs are browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.
For the topping:
- Combine breadcrumbs and shredded cheddar. Slowly drizzle melted butter while stirring crumbs with a fork.
When adding the poblanos and chorizo to the sauce, remove from the sauté pan with a slotted spoon to remove most of the grease. You can also drain from the pan after cooking.
Baking not required! Feel free to dish this up and eat it after the ingredients are combined. You can absolutely skip the crumb topping and baking if preferred.
If your cheese is bubbling but your crumbs are not close to browning, place the dish under the broiler with a watchful eye so as not to burn the crumbs.
- Category: Entree