This time of year when the Hatch Chili Peppers make their bountiful cameo appearance, we get weak in the knees for all things hatch. Just perusing almost 100 recipes at Central Market’s website made us break an indoor sweat for this sensationally, seasonal pepper.
With hatches in hand we decided to incorporate these delightfully, smokey-tasting peppers into our interpretation of gourmet Mac n’ Cheese. This dish will take more time than it does to whip-up Mac from a box, but we think the results undoubtedly justify the labor of love.
We prepare our hatch chili peppers and our chicken ahead of time so assembly time will be efficient; we have Mac n’ Cheese to eat! The roasted rotisserie chicken? We scored ours ready-to-go from our local HEB mere steps from an impressive Hatch Chili Pepper display.
Not sure how to roast your Hatch Chili Peppers? Here’s a helpful post I found that may help. We roasted our peppers on the outdoor grill. Our local HEB Plus! was even hosting hatch chili roasting events to make things even easier.
As an alternative to olive oil we have been having fun with avocado oil; in it t has a high smoke point and can offer various health benefits. We found our oil locally at Salt & Time on East 7th Street.
You can substitute the cheeses below with your favorites, like with Monterrey Jack or Mozzarella.
If it’s not hatch season you can use a couple cans of green chiles, although the flavor won’t be as smokey. If you’re out of shallots, try substituting red or white onions. No penne? Try elbow macaroni or your favorite sauce-hugging pasta (sorry, spaghetti, linguini and angel hair – we have other plans in store for you).
2 | Shallots, Peeled, Roasted and Chopped 3 Cloves | Garlic, Peeled, Roasted and Chopped 2 Teaspoons | Avocado Oil (or olive oil) 2 Tablespoons | Flour 4 Cups | Heavy Whipping Cream 1 Teaspoon | Fresh Thyme, Chopped 2 Cups | Jalapeño Pepper Jack Cheese, Shredded 2 Cups | Cheddar Cheese, Shredded To Taste | Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper 1 Pound | Penne Pasta, Cooked and Drained 4-5 | Hatch Chili Peppers, Roasted, Skinned, Seeded and Chopped 2-3 Cups | Roasted Rotisserie Chicken, Deboned and Shredded 1/2 – 1 Cup | Panko Bread Crumbs 2 Tablespoons | Falfurrias Brand Butter, Melted 2 Tablespoons | Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped
1. Place the peeled shallots and garlic in a small aluminum foil pouch and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Roast on the grill (or indoor oven at 425°F) about 25 minutes, until tender. This is a good time to boil the water, prepare the pasta and set it aside after drining. Remove the shallot-garlic medley from oven/grill and give it some time to cool a bit. Remove the veggies from the foil then chop them up.
2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add another teaspoon of oil, the chopped vegetables then sauté for about a minute. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute (do not allow to burn). Whisk in the heavy cream and the thyme then stir in the Hatch Chili Peppers. Allow the mixture to reduce by a third.
3. Add your cheeses and stir until melted, creamy and thick. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Hungry yet? 🙂
4. Remove the cheese sauce from the heat and gently stir in the pasta and chicken. [Note: If your sauté pan is too small you can transfer the sauce into the pasta pot.] Transfer the Mac n’ Cheese into a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
5. In a small bowl mix together the panko, butter and parsley; spread this mixture over the Mac n’ Cheese. Bake uncovered for about 25-35 minutes, until everything is browned and bubbly. Remove from oven, cool for a few minutes then serve.
Yields: 8-12 servings, depending on your appetite! Enjoy!
Love this recipe? We want to hear from you!
~ Joe Paul Reider
Home Style Austin Founder Austin Realtor® Keller Williams Realty, Inc.
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