Green chili mac and cheese
By Tom Nichols
On our way through Hatch, N.M., in 2015, I bought some some mild-green-chili powder for myself and Jeannine Dahl, my dear mother in law and cooking partner. We’ve shared many good times in her Arizona kitchen, trading ideas on how to tweak traditional American classics. This is a mellow Southwestern twist on Mac and Cheddar, with portions reduced to accommodate our four-quart pasta pot (sauce pan) in The Epic Van.
1 red bell pepper
3-4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons green chili powder
2 tablespoons butter
4 oz. mild green chilies, canned or frozen
4 oz. finely grated cheddar cheese
8 oz. pasta (gluten-free for Judy)
Salt as needed
Finely dice red pepper and sauté with oil for 6-8 minutes.
Add butter and minced garlic, cooking for 4 more minutes.
Add green chile powder and cook additional minute or so.
Add minced chilies, lowering heat to simmer.
While simmering chili mixture, boil pasta in separate pot and strain. We use gluten-free pasta because Judy has celiac disease. At home, I might make two versions, one GF and one not, but in The Epic Van, we make one.
Combine steaming pasta and pepper/chili mixture.
Gently but quickly fold in grated cheddar and serve.