Even though some people would probably disagree, I don't consider myself a know-it-all. I like to think that I keep an open mind and am constantly learning, particularly when it comes to food. There are a few topics however, that I feel like I know inside and out. That I have "mastered" if you will. When you have made 14 versions of mac and cheese, you get a pretty good feel for it! That's why I was so shocked last Wednesday night at 10:30 pm, when a friend casually said to me "they have a mac and cheese that is topped with chocolate at Rattlesnake" I mean, I'm no stranger to topping pasta with chocolate, but I just couldn't see how it would work with mac and cheese. "No they don't" was my first reply. "How late is the kitchen open?" was my second. We had a table by 11:15.
Upon first bite, I was shocked by the interplay between the bacon and dark Taza Chocolate. We have all seen the recent trend of chocolate covered bacon, but this is the first time I have witnessed a practical application of that infamous flavor combination. The other thing I was pleasantly surprised by was the fact that this was a stovetop mac and cheese, a dish that is commonly baked at restaurants. Smoked chiles and Mexican cheeses brought everything together perfectly. You know I had to share this with you guys as soon as possible!
90% dark chocolate. I was unable to grab Taza at the last minute, but any dark above 80% should be fine.
Roasted Poblanos. They use smoked Aniheim chilies, but roasting your own poblanos is more practical for re-creating this dish at home.
The cheese sauce is pretty quick and easy. Bacon in the pan till crisp, then you make a roux and add your cheese ((slightly)more detailed directions below). The pasta goes right into the sauce, then the poblanos.
The crisp bacon goes back into the pot just before serving.
Dark chocolate sprinkled on top. So tasty.
Bitter, salty, creamy, with a little kick. This dish is surprising with every bite.
Roast 4 poblanos (roast pepper instructions). Shred 8 oz each chihuahua and jack cheese. With a knife, crumble up some 85% dark chocolate.
Start with 4 slices of chopped bacon. Cook till crisp and remove from the pan. There should be about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan. Add 2 tablespoons butter to that and then add 4 tbsp flour and whisk till smooth. Cook 3 minutes till it starts to brown slightly. Add 3 cups whole milk. Bring to an almost simmer. Whisk in 8 oz each shredded jack and chihuahua cheese. Once smooth, add the cooked pasta and poblanos