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Poblano Mac and Manchego with Corn and Mushrooms

A fiesta flair is found in this extra special mac ‘n  two cheeses with peppers, corn and mushrooms.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 ears fresh corn on the cob
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 to 3 medium poblano chile peppers, seeded, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 small onion, chopped 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or Mexican crema
  • 2 cups shredded manchego cheese
  • 1 pound short-cut pasta, such as ziti with lines or macaroni


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the mushrooms, 10 minutes. Scrape the corn kernels from the cobs and add to the mushrooms. Season with salt and black pepper and continue cooking, 5-6 minutes.

Puree the stock with the poblanos, garlic, cilantro, onions and some salt and black pepper in a blender or food processor. Melt the butter in a saucepot over medium heat, and then whisk in the flour. Whisk in the milk and cream and raise the heat a bit. Stir in the poblano puree and simmer until thickened, 20-25 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese.

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

Cook the pasta to al dente in a large pot of salted boiling water. Before draining the pasta, reserve a ladle of the starchy cooking water. Toss the pasta with the sauce, mushrooms and corn, adding a little of the reserved starchy water if the sauce is too thick. Pour into a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until brown and bubbly, 15-20 minutes.

Cook’s Note: For a make-ahead meal, cool and store before baking. Let the mac n cheese come to room temperature before baking 30-40 minutes.

Rachael Ray