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Austin Mac 'n' Cheese Suiza

September 2008
Austin Mac 'n' Cheese Suiza

by 5 people

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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

Ingredients
  • Salt
  • 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
  • Pepper
  • 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
Directions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Tip Pair with:
  • St. Francis Sonoma County Chardonnay 2006 (California), Fleur du Cap Chardonnay 2007 (South Africa)