All that being said, the dinner was great. NT said it was the BEST thing I had EVER made--hallelujah! I had all my little ramekins ready to go-filled with onions, garlic, flour, cumin, etc. Honestly I felt like Rachel Ray (well pre-poblano pepper). So the dish is really good and I recommend you make it. Here is the recipe:
- 4 poblano peppers
- 1 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta) or whole-wheat penne
- 1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups milk
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (half a palmful) ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (half a palmful) ground coriander
- 2 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend or mix of cheddar and queso fresco
- 1 firm avocado, diced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 small vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 4 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Add salt and the pasta and cook al dente.
Heat a saucepot over medium heat; add the EVOO, onions, and garlic and cook until tender, 6-7 minutes. Add the butter to the pan and when it melts, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the stock and milk and bring to a simmer. Season with salt, pepper, the cumin, and the coriander and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight pattern until the cheese melts.Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and the chopped poblano peppers. Toss the avocado with the lime juice. Serve the mac-n-cheese in shallow bowls and top with the tomatoes, avocados and scallions.
And here is a video of how Rachel did it on the show. NOTE: Notice how she doesn't show how she chars, deseeds and peels the peppers. They just magically are ready to be tossed in the pasta.
And here are a few pics to show my effort (sorry for the bad lighting_)
One other thing--I am typing this 3 hours later after charring the pepper--and I just touched my lips and they are burning, stinging.
And another thing--I bought these ever so cute Bubble and Brown dishes from the Rachel Ray Store. Cute, huh? She uses them for everything. Sorry NT- I should have told you about these.