CHUCK WAGON TRAILS MAC-'N-CHEESE

Sandi Sheppard

By
@SandiShep

The trail ends here with this simple, cheesy, Southwestern version of Mac-'N-Cheese! It has medium-level spicy heat that doesn't overwhelm, but offers a bite just the same with warmth that lingers on the back of the throat. Multiple chili flavors of poblano, green chilies and chipotle are a natural with tomato, onion, sweet corn, and cilantro combined with a great combination of cheeses - familiar in your favorite tortilla chip dips! This has Mexican flair and a great deal of comfort food satisfaction, so enjoy every bite, and if it's not quite hot enough for you, shake on the hot sauce!


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Comments:

Serves:

6

Prep:

10 Min

Cook:

40 Min

Ingredients

1/2 lb
bulk pork and bacon sausage blend
1 c
chopped sweet yellow onion
1 large
poblano pepper, rough chopped
2
ears sweet corn, kernels removed
10 oz
diced tomato with green chilies
1 large
chipotle pepper in adobo, minced
1 Tbsp
minced garlic
1 tsp
liquid smoke flavoring
1 Tbsp
worcestershire sauce
6 oz
cream cheese, cubed
5 oz
santa fe flavored cream cheese cooking creme blend
1 c
velveeta shreds, original flavor
1 c
velveeta shreds, pepper jack flavor
3/4 c
chopped cilantro, divided use
12 oz
small whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 Tbsp
kosher salt
1 c
cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
3/4 c
crushed thin tortilla chips
1 c
shredded pepper jack cheese with a touch of philadelphia

Directions Step-By-Step

1
Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. In a large skillet on medium, brown the sausage, for about 5 minutes, breaking with a spoon while it cooks, then add the onions and poblano pepper and saute another 5 minutes. Drain meat, onions and peppers and add back to the skillet. Discard drippings.
2
With heat on low, add the corn, tomato, chipotle pepper, garlic, liquid smoke, worcestershire, cream cheese, cooking creme, both cheese shreds and 1/2 cup cilantro and mix well. Turn off heat when all cheese is melted.
3
Cook macaroni in 4 quarts boiling water with the salt. Cook, slowly boiling, for 8 minutes, drain and add to the skillet. Mix well and pour into a 2-1/2 or 3 quart casserole dish. Spread cherry tomatoes over the top, and the chips then spread the shredded cheese evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, covering loosely with a foil tent if it begins to brown too quickly. Remove from oven, garnish with remaining cilantro and serve.