Poblano Macaroni and Cheese

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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2 poblano chiles
8 oz. elbow pasta
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1½ c. whole milk
1 tsp. mustard powder
¼ tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. lime zest
½ c. chopped cilantro
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
12 oz. grated white cheddar cheese
1/2 cotija cheese-for serving


Roast the poblanos under the broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes per side.

Place chiles in a paper sack or plastic food storage bag, close tightly, and let the chiles steam for 20 minutes.

Take chiles out of the bag and rub off the skin. Remove stem and seeds and chop the chiles into 1 inch pieces.

Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to your package directions and then drain the pasta.

per Lisa(You want the pasta to be cooked not mushy. I cook my pasta for 5 minutes)

Preheat your oven to 375° F.

Grease a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet.

In a pot set over low heat, melt the butter. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and cook until light brown and toasty pastes is formed about 1 minute.

Whisk in the milk and stir until thickened a bit but fluid, about 1-2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in mustard powder, cayenne, cumin, lime zest, cilantro, and prepared poblanos.

Adjust seasonings add salt and pepper.

Slowly add half of the cheddar cheese into the sauce until melted and well combined into the sauce.

per Lisa (If the sauce has cooled too much and the cheese won’t melt, return the pot to low heat on the stove. If however the sauce gets too thick, like a custard, you can thin it by stirring in milk, a teaspoon at a time.)

Pour sauce over pasta and top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly golden.

Sprinkle with Cotija cheese and serve immediately.

Recipe by Lisa Fain, Homesick Texan Cookbook, via sweetlifebake.com