This quick stovetop mac and cheese is based on rajas con crema, a classic Mexican dish of roasted green chiles sautéed with onion and finished with cream. Canned green chiles make a fine shortcut in this case.
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2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup cream or half-and-half
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces small pasta shells or mini farfalle
Two 4-ounce cans roasted green chiles
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan over moderate heat, combine the butter and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the cream and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cheese, and stir until incorporated. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and keep it warm over very low heat.
Meanwhile, in a medium pot of boiling well-salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well and stir into the sauce, along with the green chiles. Serve immediately.
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