Queso is awesome, mac and cheese is awesome, so how could combining them not be even more awesome? Today I partnered with Tillamook to create this easy, delicious recipe. I love how versatile it is, and the nice kick of heat. I have to have crunch with gooey mac and cheese, so I topped this recipe with broken up tortilla chips. I’m pretty obsessed with it. Enjoy!
3-4 cups milk
1 yellow onion, roughly sliced
3 sprigs parsley
pinch of chili flakes
1 tablespoon black pepper cloves
1 garlic clove, halved
3 ounces butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups Tillamook Pepper Jack, grated
1 1/2 cups Tillamook Sharp Cheddar, grated
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8-12 ounces elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
2 poblano chiles, roasted and chopped
2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup tortilla chips, crushed
Preheat oven to 375 F.
For the sauce for the mac and cheese, heat the milk in a small saucepan with all of the milk ingredients, but be careful not to boil it. Add butter to another pot and let it melt. Add the flour, and stir to create a roux (this will give something for the cheese to cling to).
Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk through a strainer and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the cheese half the pepper, and nutmeg. Salt to taste. Stir well.
Cook the macaroni according to package instructions. Start with about 8 oz and fold into the cheese sauce. If you like more pasta, add more. Pour into greased ramekins (or baking dish). Put the crumbs on top of the mac and cheese, covering the entire top layer.
Bake for 30-45 minutes (depending on ramekins or one large baking dish), or until the sauce is bubbly and the crust is browned on top.