Field Notes

Green Chili Queso Mac & Cheese

With Fall upon us and restaurants not fully open, we thought we would make it even easier to enjoy our infamous Green Chili Queso Mac & Cheese.  The key is folding in fresh warm salsa verde which adds a layer of bold flavor and spice to the creamy Mac & Cheese. 

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour 
  • 2 cups milk, warm 
  • 2 cups salsa verde, warm 
  • 1 lb dried pasta (we like small interesting shapes but anything will do)
  • 3 cups jack cheese
  • 3 cups white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cotija cheese (plus more to garnish)
  • pickled chilies for garnish 

Warm milk and salsa verde together in a small sauce pan.

Melt butter over medium heat in a large sauce pan until just starting to brown. Add flour and whisk vigorously. Cook for a minute or two until well combined and starting to get more color. 

One cup at a time, start adding the milk & salsa verde combo. After the first cup, the mixture will tighten up and then loosen as you add more and more.

After all the liquid has been added, start slowly adding the cheeses and continuing to stir so they are fully incorporated into the sauce. Continue cooking until the sauce reduces to a nice, thick queso consistency. Keep warm over very low heat. 

Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Add to the queso sauce. If you want you can torch or broil in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven to brown the top, but it's perfectly fine without that... we almost prefer the extra creaminess. 

Garnish with additional cotija and pickled chilies. 

Hosting a Tamalada

In some households, tamales are totems of the holiday season. The corn-based steamed cakes studded with filling and wrapped in corn husks are labor intensive, so they’re best undertaken with a bit of help. Our suggestion: throw a tamale party. Enlist friends and family to come over for a drink or two and put them to work, assembly-line style.

We’re fans of preparing a few different fillings for variety’s sake. We’ve made tamales with everything from red chili-soaked carnitas to green chili chicken. For vegetarians, try a traditional rajas tamale made with cheese and poblanos.

And no tamale party is complete without an army of hot sauces and condiments to doctor the finished product. Grab a copy of our Hot Sauce Field Guide for recipe inspiration to adorn your tamale bar.

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