Mac and cheese recipes are a dime a dozen on the net. If you have a food blog and are even remotely tolerant of dairy, odds are you’ve posted a favorite recipe or unique rendition. From bacon and blue cheese to truffles and lobster, there are countless offerings out there that claim to offer the ultimate mac and cheese experience. Whether it’s topped with breadcrumbs and baked in the oven or fresh from the stove top, oozing with a gooey melted cheese sauce, I’ve never met a version I haven’t liked. That being said, in my mind one version stands out among the rest as a truly extraordinary and distinctive twist on the original: green chile mac and cheese.
I first had green chile mac and cheese on a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona for Spring Training with my Dad where we dined at chef Robert McGrath’s flagship, Roaring Fork restaurant. After amazing, back-to-back dinners we decided to buy the cookbook and attempt to replicate his signature riff on the comfort classic. Needless to say, the results were a near perfect match. Simple to prepare, this dish gets it’s deep, smoky flavor from the addition of a puree of roasted poblano chiles. Add in some heavy cream, a confetti of red bell pepper, sweet corn kernels and a healthy dose of piquant pepper jack cheese and you have a mac and cheese dish worthy of a little excitement.