So I have to clear my conscious – I had a similar mac ‘n’ cheese at a dinner with my family, and I tried to completely duplicate it, so very little originality coming from this one. However, poblanos (or pasillas at the grocery store sometimes) are now one of my favorite peppers, and you deserve some in your life. Specifically paired with bacon and gouda cheese. Trust me.
- 2 - 3 chicken breasts
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1 medium onion
- 1 lb. penne pasta
- 1 lb. bacon
- 3/4 cup monterey jack cheese
- 1/2 cup smoked gouda
- 1 - 2 Tbsp. flour
- 3 cups milk
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Dice onion, poblano, and bacon. Cook bacon in a large pot over medium heat until browned to desired doneness, then remove and set aside.
- Cook onion and peppers in the pot the bacon was in for 8 - 10 minutes. Add flour to soak up with grease and cook, stirring constantly for 1 - 2 minutes.
- Whisk in milk, then bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Boil a pot of water and cook pasta as directed.
- Cube chicken and brown it in a skillet over medium to medium high heat until done (10 - 15 minutes).
- Remove sauce from heat, then add the cheeses a bit at a time and the spices. Stir until all of the cheese has melted.
- Combine cooked pasta, cheese sauce, bacon, and chicken in a large bowl and stir until well combined.
- Pour into a greased baking dish and cook at 350° for 25 - 30 minutes.
- Top with extra cheese if desired.