Macaroni and cheese is a beloved comfort food that has stood the test of time, thanks to its velvety, cheesy, al dente goodness. Those who love to find ingenious ways to bring the timeless pasta dish to the next level understand that a simple yet impactful mix-in can do just the trick. For instance, Mashed recipe developer Kristen Carli enjoys incorporating a flavor-boosting ingredient into the classic dish — diced Hatch green chiles.
These bold, vibrant peppers bring a zesty, smoky kick to anything they touch, including tacos, quesadillas, chili, salsas, dips, and macaroni and cheese, of course. Green chiles provide heat and contribute a distinct profile that complements the rich cheese sauce. If you're not a huge fan of spice (at least not to the point that your mouth feels like it's on fire), rest assured, Hatch green chiles fall pretty low on the Scoville scale, ranging between 1,500 and 2,500 SHUs. To put this in perspective, one of the hottest known peppers on Earth, Dragon's Breath, clocks in at a whopping nearly 2.5 million SHUs (via NorthWalesLive). Now that would be one spicy bowl o' mac!
Read more: Frozen Pizzas, Ranked From Worst To Best
Green Chiles Offer The Perfect Amount Of Spice To Mac And Cheese
Kristen Carli's approach ensures that the green chiles enhance rather than overpower an already perfect forkful of macaroni and cheese. Plus, the spice level can easily be adjusted to your palate. This adaptability makes Carli's ultra-savory mac and cheese a versatile dish suitable to many tastes. Along with medium cheddar, pepper jack cheese is another star ingredient Carli adds. Its sharp undertones beautifully complement the buttery cheddar and zippy Hatch chiles, creating a pleasant balance of heat and creaminess. The result is a delectable mac and cheese that satisfies your spice, carb, and dairy cravings in every bite.
While elbow macaroni is the long-established choice, Carli encourages using your favorite type of pasta. For example, orecchiette, with its unique, scoop-like shape, provides a fun texture and unique aesthetic. Whether you're a traditionalist or continuously seeking an adventurous twist, Carli's suggested addition of green chiles has the power to take the flavor of macaroni and cheese from ordinary to extraordinary.
Read the original article on Mashed.