Adult Mac and Cheese with a Texas Attitude
Make a delicious Texas mac and cheese with a little heat from poblano peppers. It's easy and quick. Give this one a try.
Texas Mac and Cheese
Here is an adult mac and cheese dish with a Texas twist. There are three cheeses in this Texas mac and cheese. Beecher's Flagship cheese, a semi-hard cow's milk cheese that has been aged for 15 months, is mixed with goat cheese to form a very silky and creamy cheese to cover the macaroni. Panko bread crumbs are toasted in butter and mixed with finely grated Asiago cheese for the topping. Of course this wouldn't be Texas mac and cheese without a little kick in the flavor department. That comes in the form of some roasted poblano peppers. This is great either as a side dish or a main course.
Roast the Poblano Peppers
Rinse off three poblano pepper and place them on a hot grill over direct heat. These were done over a sear burner but they can also be cooked over a gas or charcoal grill. In a pinch, they can be cooked on a gas range top. Just place the peppers directly on the grate.
Turn the peppers over when one side is well charred, about 6 minutes. Poblano peppers are somewhat flat so it may be necessary to hold them on the edge with tongs to char them all the way around. Remove them from the grill and place them in a paper bag, fold over the top of the bag and let the peppers rest for about 10 minutes. This will allow the charred skin to soften and pull away from the flesh of the pepper. Rinse the peppers under cool running water and peel away as much skin as possible.
Remove the stem, seeds and ribs and cut into ¼" dice.
Prepare the Bread Crumbs
Next, melt some butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the Panko bread crumbs and stir to coat with butter. Sauté until slightly browned.
Panko bread crumbs make a difference. They have a better texture and flavor that works well with the Asiago cheese that will be added later.
Make the Cheesy Mixture
Grate the Beecher's Flagship cheese on a medium box grater. Grate the Asiago on a fine box grater. There is no need to grate the goat cheese, just crumble it up.
To make the cheese sauce, start with a roux then add milk and heavy cream.
Add the Beecher's Flagship cheese and the goat cheese. Stir it well then add the spices. Stir it again.
Add the cooked elbow macaroni and stir it in. Mix it well, some of that wonderful cheese sauce needs to get inside the macaroni. Finally, stir in the diced poblano peppers.
Bake Until Golden Brown
Transfer the mac and cheese mixture to a cast iron skillet. Mix the asiago cheese in with the bread crumbs and spread the mixture on to of the mac and cheese. There is no such thing as too many cheesy bread crumbs.
Bake the mac and cheese until golden brown and heated through. In the video, this was cooked in a wood fired oven, but a conventional oven will work just fine. It can also be cooked in a smoked over indirect heat using just charcoal. That will add a little bit of smoke that works well with this dish.
Other Great Dishes
- Texas Style Creamed Corn With Poblano Peppers
- Smoked Charro Beans
- Creamed Corn Without Cream
- Texas Corn Ribs
- Waffle Maker Grilled Cheese
- Homemade Chili Powder
Texas Mac and Cheese With Poblano Peppers
- 3 Poblano peppers
- 8 oz elbow macaroni
- 6 tbs butter split
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 4 oz Asiago cheese
- ½ cup flour
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 8 oz cheddar cheese white cheddar such as Beecher's Flagship
- 1 ¼ cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ⅓ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta al dente per package directions. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Cook the peppers over direct heat until skin is black and blistered (a gas cooktop flame or broiler works well). Place in a paper bag and let rest for 10 minutes. Peel the blistered skin under running water. Remove the stems and seeds, and chop to ¼ inch.
- Melt 2 tbs of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and stir to coat with butter. Sauté until slightly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Melt 4 tbs of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for two minutes, whisking continually. Slowly add the milk and cream while whisking. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat.
- Add diced peppers, goat cheese, Beecher’s Flagship cheese, salt, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine, about three minutes.
- Combine sauce and pasta in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Transfer to a prepared 8” baking dish or 10” cast iron skillet. Stir Asiago cheese into bread crumb mixture and sprinkle on top of macaroni mixture. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown.