What could possibly be a better combination than mac and cheese and Hatch chiles? We can’t think of many things. Here at Melissa’s, we just kicked off another excellent Hatch chile season and to celebrate, came up with a bite-sized twist on a comfort food classic. Everyone seems to have their own version of mac and cheese and the best part about this recipe is that anyone can make it. All you need are a couple of Hatch chiles that are already roasted, your favorite mac and cheese recipe and bread crumbs. The results are explosive, crunchy morsels of spicy, cheesy flavor. They’re truly a party in your mouth that will make you forget all about your typical jalapeño poppers for your future parties and gatherings.
Hatch chiles never fail to inspire a frenzy among shoppers between the months of August and September. These Southwestern chiles are grown in the Mesilla Valley of Hatch, New Mexico and are only available for a few weeks during the year. The intense sunlight and cool desert nights of the region gives these peppers their thick walls and meaty flesh with a unique flavor not found in any other chiles. Their heat level can vary across the full spectrum of heat levels, ranging from mild to medium to hot. Roasting the Hatch chiles makes them easy to peel and seed and releases their earthy flavor and rich texture. Once roasted, you can use the peppers in a wide variety of recipes from appetizers to main dishes and even desserts. You can even freeze any leftover chiles and enjoy them all year long. To catch your local store’s roasting dates, check our Hatch chile Roasting Dates and Locations schedule.
Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese
Yields: 18 to 20 balls
- 2 Hatch Chiles, roasted and diced
- 2 large eggs
- 1 lb of elbow macaroni
- 1 lb of Cheddar cheese, grated
- 3 cups of seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 cups of milk
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
1. In a large pot, boil the macaroni according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
2. In a separate saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk for about 2 minutes. Then, add the milk and continue whisking until the sauce begins to thicken.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese until melted. Add the Hatch Chiles, salt and pepper.
4. Add the cheese sauce to the macaroni and coat evenly. Then, pour the macaroni and cheese into a pan and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
5. Roll the mac and cheese into small to medium sized balls and place them on a flat baking sheet. Cover them with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer overnight.
6. Beat the eggs and combine with a little bit of water to make an egg wash. Take the mac and cheese balls from the freezer and dip into the egg wash. Then, dip them into the bread crumbs.
7. Heat up your oil to about 350 degrees. Place a few mac and cheese balls in at a time and fry for about 5 minutes until golden brown.