This layered mac 'n' cheese was inspired by enchiladas suizas, a pulled-chicken dish that's often topped with a tangy green sauce, Swiss cheese and Mexican cream sauce.
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
- 1 pound cavatappi or other short pasta
- 1 pound tomatilloshusked, rinsed and halved
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and chopped
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon cumin (about 1/3 palmful)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro (a generous handful)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- 2 cups crushed tortilla chips, preferably flaxseed
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream, optional
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, then return to the pot.
- While the pasta is working, using a food processor, pulse the tomatillos until chopped. In a medium saucepan, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and jalapenos and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatillos, honey and cumin; season with salt. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk and vegetable broth; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Swiss and monterey jack cheeses.
- Preheat a broiler. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and toss. Spread half of the pasta in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and top with half of the tomatillo sauce; repeat the layers. Sprinkle the chips and pepper jack cheese on top. Broil until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with the creme fraiche, if using.
- St. Francis Sonoma County Chardonnay 2006 (California), Fleur du Cap Chardonnay 2007 (South Africa)