Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and the California Milk Advisory Board. All opinions are 100% my own.
A family favorite dinner has always been mac and cheese. In our home we take mac and cheese very serious and always find ways of using different kinds of cheeses and ingredients to make it even more interesting. In my search for making my mac and cheese more creatively I try to make sure the amount of cheesy goodness is not compromised and that the cheese remains the center star of the dish. Because cheese is so important, one idea that came to mind and that has become a hit in our home is to make queso blanco dip style mac and cheese. Yes you heard that right, genius huh? How clever it is to make regular queso blanco dip and then pour it over the pasta so it gets drenched in the cheesy heavens of the queso blanco dip?
Queso blanco in Spanish literally means white cheese. The literal translation of the term does not imply you should go ahead and use just any white cheese. There is indeed a Hispanic-style cheese called queso blanco and that is what I like to use when making queso blanco dip. You could use any other Hispanic-style cheese of your preference but please keep it authentic by using a cheese like queso blanco, oaxaca, chihuahua, quesadilla or asadero. You will see what a big difference it makes.
When selecting your cheese, my recommendation is to look for the Real California Cheese seal. California produces more than 25 varieties and styles of Hispanic-style cheeses. So make sure you elevate your everyday meals by adding the authentic touch of Real California Cheeses.
Roasted poblano peppers, onions and tomatoes are the additional ingredients that complete this recipe and make it a hit family favorite dish.
Queso blanco is not very well known as a melting cheese but it does melt beautifully when added shredded into warm cream like in this recipe.
When your Queso Blanco Dip is ready, add pasta of choice and you will be in for a smoky, cheesy treat.
The smoky flavor in this recipe comes from the roasted poblano pepper. You can certainly buy it in canned at the store but I completely suggest you roast your own if you can. The aroma and taste is incredible and you wont regret it. All you need to do is: rub the pepper with oil and place it in a baking sheet under the broiler until all sides get roasted, skin gets blisters and darkens. Once is roasted the skin will peel very easily.
Each bite of this Mac and Cheese will be cheesy, smoky and simply delicious. Try this and surprise everyone with a different twist.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ pound shredded queso blanco
- 1 roasted poblano pepper, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 6 ounces short cut pasta of choice
- In a medium sauce pan melt butter and sauté onion until translucent.
- Sprinkle flour and stir to make a paste.
- Add heavy cream and salt stir for a minute until the butter and flour paste dissolves evenly.
- Add shredded cheese and stir while the cream continues to heat and the cheese melts. ***Keep in mind that the cheese will melt almost all the way but at the end there will be still be very small pieces left without melting which gives the dish a more cheesy texture and flavor.
- Once the sauce is creamy and thick, add the tomatoes and poblano peppers, stir and cook for just one more minute.
- Add the cooked pasta, coat everything in the sauce and it will be ready to serve.