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Smoked Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large Green Anaheim Chile - roasted peeled and chopped or 4 oz. can green chiles (in a pinch) about 1/4 cup total cooked chile
  • 2 cups macaroni or other short pasta
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1-2 cloves garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 pint 2 cups half and half
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk for extra creaminess especially when re-heating
  • 2 1/2 cups milk preferably whole
  • 6 cups grated white cheddar cheese you may also use a blend of cheeses such as Pepper Jack, Sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack etc.
  • salt and pepper to taste I use about 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and generous pepper

Instructions

  1. For roasting Anaheim and prepping Traeger:
  2. When ready to cook, start the Traeger according to grill instructions. Set the temperature to 400 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. When grill is heated, place Anaheim chile on grill and cook for about 10 minutes per side until slightly charred. When chile is cooked, Reduce the Traeger temperature to 375 degrees.
  4. Place chile in a small paper bag and seal end*. After about 5 minutes, open bag, peel and chop the chile and set aside.
  5. For pasta:
  6. Place a pot of water on stove to boil the pasta. When water comes to a boil, add 1-2 tablespoons salt to water.
  7. Boil pasta in water with 1-2 tablespoons salt 7-10 minutes or cooked al dente. Remove pasta from water and set aside.
  8. For sauce:
  9. Melt butter in saucepan on stove over medium to medium high heat; add fresh or canned chiles, place chiles in butter and sauté 2-3 minutes.
  10. Add chopped garlic and saute about 1 minute, being careful to not burn the garlic.
  11. Add flour a little at a time, to melted butter mixture and whisk. Cook on medium heat for about 1-2 minutes. The mixture will be thick and may clump.
  12. Add milks a cup at a time, whisking until smooth. Continue stirring until sauce thickens over medium heat.
  13. Place macaroni in large baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.
  14. Add 5 cups grated cheese and sauce. Fold until all ingredients are incorporated.
  15. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  16. Place pan on Traeger and cook for about 20-30 minutes or until dish is bubbly and cheese is melted.
  17. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

-This dish may be cooked in two large cast iron pans, two 9x13 pans or one large steam table pan (12x20).
-You may also set the finished dish in the Traeger on the smoke setting for 30 minutes before cooking. Then heat the grill to 375 and cook for 20 minutes.
-It is not necessary to place the chiles in a bag after roasting, it will make it easy to remove the skins, but not essential. You may also use a sharp paring knife and remove the skins. I don't worry about getting every bit of charred skin off!
-You may make this dish ahead if desired. Place in pan or pans and refrigerate after assembly. Remove from refrigerator about an hour before cooking. Cover with foil while cooking. Heat Traeger to 350 and cook for about 40 minutes or until bubbly.