Monday, August 31, 2009

Hatch Chile Week - Day Two: Hatch Mac'n Cheese

To whet your appetite today, some Chile Facts:

* One fresh medium-sized green chile pod has as much Vitamin C as six oranges.
* One teaspoon of dried red chile powder has the daily requirements of Vitamin A.
* Hot chile peppers burn calories by triggering a thermodynamic burn in the body, which speeds up the metabolism.
* Teas & lozenges are made with chile peppers for the treatment of a sore throat.
* Capsaicinoids, the chemical that make chile peppers hot, are used in muscle patches for sore and aching muscles.
* Chile peppers are relatives of tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants, all belonging to the nightshade family.
* The color extracted from very red chile pepper pods, oleoresin, is used in everything from lipstick to processed meats.
* There are 26 known species of chile pepper, five of which are domesticated.
Adapted from the New Mexico Chile Institutes’ “Chile Pepper Facts”& located on the Hatch Valley Chamber of Commerce Website
The last few Friday nights I have played the lucky (and willing) hostess for dinner for my family, this past Friday featured a Hatch Chile Macaroni and Cheese, a very simple (yet tasty) cucumber and tomato salad and a Ranch Pan Fried Chicken. The Mac and Cheese was met with resounding approval, to the tone of many second helpings around the table and will definitely be making many appearance on my menus.

Hatch Mac

1 1/2 Sticks Butter
3 Cups Milk
1 Tsp Garlic
1/2 Cup Minced Onion
1/2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Nutmeg
2 Tsp Black Pepper
2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
6 Cups Monterrey Jack Cheese
3 Roasted, Chopped, Seeded and Rinsed Hatch Chiles
1 Lb Elbow Macaroni
6 Slices Cooked Bacon, Chopped
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 Tsp Olive Oil

1. Saute onion and garlic in a tsp of olive oil in a small skillet until onion is tender.
2. Heat milk over medium high in a sauce pan. While milk is heating, heat butter in a large skillet. When butter begins to bubble, add flour, garlic and onion, whisk until well incorporated.
3. Pour milk into butter, whisk until thick.
4. Remove from heat and season with black pepper, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and salt. Add 5 1/2 cups cheese and the chopped Hatch Chile and mix well.
5. Boil pasta until al dente. Preheat oven to 375.
6. Spray 9x13 casserole pan with vegetable oil. Place drained pasta in pan then pour cheese sauce over the top.
7. Sprinkle pasta mix with bread crumbs, bacon pieces and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
8. Bake until brown and bubbling, approx. 30 minutes.

Not only did we have the delicious Hatch Mac but I got to use some very tasty gifts sent to me by Foodbuzz, a sampling of Emeril's Essence, Emeril's Chicken Seasoning, Emeril's Steak Seasoning and Emeril's 'Kicked Up Mustard.' This time I only used the chicken seasoning but it sure added a delicious 'kick' to our meal!

Ranch Pan-Fried Chicken
3 Chicken Breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1 Cup Flour
1 Tbsp Bread Crumbs
2 Tbsp Emeril's Chicken Seasoning
1 Package Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

1. Mix flour, bread crumbs, Emeril's and ranch mix. Heat large skillet with oil over medium-high heat.
2. Dredge chicken in flour mixture.
3. Cook chicken in pan until golden brown on both sides.

If you've enjoyed the looks of this cheesy-hatch dish, you'll really look forward to the entries Gloria Chadwick will get for her Hatch Chile Recipe Contest!


Gloria Chadwick said...

Your Hatch Mac 'n' Cheese looks like the ultimate Hatch comfort food!! :)

Katherine Aucoin said...

This takes mac-n-cheese to a whole other level. You have given me some wonderful ideas with this!

Dee said...

I'm not sure which liked best the mac & cheese right out of the oven or the tasty leftovers! Yummy!

Anonymous said...

I have to make this right away! Awesome! Good thing I bought lots of Hatch chiles!

Chef E said...

Thats it, I am going to buy hatch chilies at the store today...and make mac and cheese (something I never make) have convinced me!

Kerstin said...

Oh wow, this looks so rich and delicious! Love that bacon in there too!

Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ said...

The mac 'n' cheese sounds amazing! And the chicken looks really good too! Your so sweet for cooking up this delicious meal for you family.

Hornsfan said...

Gloria - Thanks, it definitely was comfort with the cheese, chiles and bacon!
Katherine - Thanks!
Mom - ooh you're right, leftovers are better.
5 Star - better stock up while you can :)
Chef E - So glad I've made a believer out of you, can't wait to see what you whip up with your chiles!
Kerstin - thanks, the bacon definitely makes a great addition, crispy and bacon-y :)
Reeni - Thanks, it's becoming quite the tradition around here for us to all eat together on Fridays :)

girlichef said...

Nice! I wonder if I could trick (clears throat) the kiddos into liking this? You know, make it, feed it to them and tell them what was in it afterwards!! LOL...sounds great.