Hatch Green Chile and Bacon Mac & Cheese
Hatch Chiles from the Hatch Valley in New Mexico come into season every year in August and September. Many specialty grocery stores even have roasting events where you can buy the chiles freshly roasted for you. If it's not the right season or your store doesn't have Hatch Chiles available, you can substitute Anaheim Chiles or even used diced canned green chiles in a pinch.
The smoky green chile and our crisp smoky bacon make a perfect pairing with decadent, creamy mac & cheese. This doesn't have to be a side - it can be a meal on its own too!
- 5 fresh Hatch chiles (or pre-roasted if you can get them!)
- 8 slices Fletcher's bacon
- 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
- 2 Tb unsalted butter
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 4 Tb flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 Tb olive oil
- Turn on oven broiler and place an oven rack 4-6 inches under broiler. Rinse and dry chiles. Place chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 4-5 minutes each side (turning with tongs) or until skin has started to blister and blacken. Remove from oven and place chiles into a paper bag, close and let sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, peel the skin off chiles and remove the stems and seeds (if you leave seeds in, the spicier the mac & cheese will be). Dice the chiles and set aside.
- Cook the bacon slices in a skillet over medium-low heat until very crisp. Drain on paper towels and then dice and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook macaroni according to package directions until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add in onions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk and continue stirring until mixture starts to slightly bubble and thicken.
- Once milk mixture has thickened slightly, add in the jack and cream cheese, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and fold in macaroni, diced roasted chiles, and diced bacon. Season to taste with salt if needed.
- Pour mac & cheese into a 2 quart casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. In a small bowl combine panko bread crumbs and olive oil. Sprinkle mixture over the mac & cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes until the edges are bubbly. Turn on the broiler and broil for a couple more minutes until bread crumbs are golden. Serve and enjoy!