Green Chili Skillet Mac & Cheese
The winter blizzards got you down? Indulge in this rich comfort food with a twist. Even if you aren’t living in a state struck by record snowfall this year you can make this dish in solidarity with those feeling the cold. The green chilies in this aren’t overpowering by any means, they are subtle and give the dish a good flavor. Even people who aren’t the biggest fans of chili will find this dish comforting in the cold winter months. I find that often when you bake mac and cheese, it becomes too dry rather than creamy. The combination of the Velveeta and half & half keep the noodles velvety and rich. If you don’t want to fully indulge, I like to serve the mac and cheese with a side salad.
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ large yellow onion, diced
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
½ cup cubed Velveeta® cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the pasta until just al dente, drain and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and green chilies, stirring occasionally, until the onions become soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and allow to melt, then whisk in the flour, continuing to stir until pale brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until thick, about 10 minutes.
Whisk in the Velveeta® cheese, a few cubes at a time, until it is all incorporated. Whisk in the cheddar cheese and the Monterey jack cheese until the mixture becomes smooth. Add the cooked pasta to the cheese mixture, and stir until the mixture is creamy and thoroughly combined. Stir the macaroni and cheese into the onions and green chilies in the skillet.
Heat the broiler to high. Sprinkle the top of the macaroni and cheese with the panko breadcrumbs and place under the broiler until the top is golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure that it does not burn.
To serve: Sprinkle the mac and cheese with cilantro and green onions then scoop into bowls.
Serves 4 as an entrée, 8 as a side.