One Pot Hatch Mac and Cheese that’s ready in just over 30 minutes. It’s made with a blend of creamy melted cheeses like cheddar, Monterey jack, and gruyere, packed with fresh oregano and lemon thyme from the garden and finished with a sweet and spicy charred Hatch chili green sauce. Perfect for a weeknight dinner that’s cheesy, a touch spicy, comforting and boasting with fresh ingredients that everyone will enjoy.
This mac and cheese checks all the boxes for us. It has a creamy, cheesy sauce that’s not dried up from over cooking and baking, a good amount of herbs and spices to boost its flavour profile and a sweet and spicy twist stirred in for a pop of colour and punch of heat. It’s a comforting home run!
We tried to keep it as simple as possible by coming up with an equally tasty, one-pot recipe that could be done on the stove and saves on the extra steps of transferring to the oven. Mac and cheese is okay baked.. find that the sauce starts to lack and it becomes too sticky and dry. I don’t think the crunchy crispy edges are a step worth doing. For a mac and cheese to be cheesy, saucy and creamy you have to move quick and cook on medium-low heat so that it doesn’t get over cooked and dried up.
It comes down to the quality of the ingredients. There’s 3 important and crucial ones. Cheese, Butter, and Milk. These are what make your creamy cheesy sauce. A combination of cheese is ideal- one that will melt (Gruyere) and two others that are a little fatty such as cheddar cheese. As long as you include a melting cheese and second that’s not low fat you should be okay and achieve creaminess. Fat is important because it is needed to thicken into a sauce and hold together without turning grainy and will give you a full bodied richness. Good butter will introduce more fat and help bind and a full fat milk or cream is important because it rounds out the flavours in the sauce and will slowly thicken. Because this recipe is all done in one pot and doesn’t require the pasta water to be drained and added back into the pot, we rely on the starch water in place of a roux.
Maybe your not familiar and wondering what the heck is a hatch chile? Well it’s a type of pepper that is specific to the hatch Valley in New Mexico, aka also known as the chile capital. They tend to have a smoky spicy taste to them and sometimes can be on the sweeter side with an underlying earthy taste. This of course varies and depends on when the peppers were picked. There is a combination of peppers that are part of the Hatch Chile family and all have similar flavour profiles. These include Hatch, Poblano, Anaheim, Serrano, Habanero, Jalapeno, and Chilaca. If you can’t get your hands on hatch, use a combination of these.
For more Hatch Chilies recipes check out this tasty salmon recipe.
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