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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Poblano Macaroni and Cheese & Sopapillas

  So these are the last of the summer tomatoes.


Now yes, I know summer tomatoes are still making an appearance at local farmers markets and are still hanging around the produce section at the grocery store. I am well aware of all of that,but these were the summer tomatoes from our family's garden. The garden my father-in-law planted for us,one fantastic garden. He picked the last few tomatoes last week. Funny thing was the same week we finish off the last few summer tomatoes,fall makes it entrance due some tropical storms in the gulf. The rain was wonderful. The clouds gave me every reason to take a nap. And I took a nap. It was wonderful,quiet cool house with a hint of fall.

   I got home this evening from work and sat on the front porch for just a bit.I enjoyed every bit of the cooler breeze . No not a ton cooler,but just enough to not sweat. I don't like sweating and was happy to see the tripel digit temps hit the road. Peace out.  Two thoughts crossed my mind as I rocked in the rocking chair: A. Dang I'm gonna miss fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes and. B. Well dang!  no more Poblano Mac n' Cheese.


   I took a nap on Sunday. Apparently the energy from that nap lasted through to Monday. I am a true believer in resting on Labor Day. It's a day off and heck I'm not gonna labor. Mmmm... yeah ok. I was rested,rested enough to make a real dinner for that sweet husband of mine.

 I also knew that wonderful husband would help do the why not.

The menu: simple roasted chicken , poblano macaroni and cheese,green beans and for dessert sopapillas. Yum,yum,yum. This meal would also help me spotlight one fantastic blogger,Lisa Fain. This month we ( me and some other amazing bloggers) are spotlighting Lisa Fain and her cookbook The Homesick Texan.
   *This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*
 Now let me tell you about two recipes in The Homesick Texan cookbook that made my Labor Day pretty relaxing: Poblano Macaroni and Cheese & Sopapillas.

    First up: Poblano Macaroni and Cheese. Roasted Poblano peppers,white cheddar,lime zest and cilantro take this mac and cheese to a whole 'nother level.A Texan level.

 Poblano Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from The Homesick Texan
written by Lisa Fain
 2 poblano chiles
8 ounces elbow pasta ( 2 cups)
2 TBL unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic,minced
2 TBL all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp lime zest
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
salt and black pepper,to taste
4 cups grated white cheddar cheese (12 ounces)
1/2 cup Cotija cheese,for serving
1. Roast poblano chiles under the broiler until blackened,for about 5 minutes per side.Place chiles in a paper sack,close it tightly and let it rest for 20  minutes.Take out the chiles,gently rub off the skin.Remove the stem and seeds and chop the chiles into 1-inch pieces.
2.Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to package directions and then drain the pasta.
3.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.Grease a large baking dish and pour the drained pasta into the dish.
4.In a pot ( I used the same pot that I cooked my pasta in),on low melt the butter.Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and cook until light brown,toasty brown paste is formed about 1 minute or so.Whisk in the milk and stir until it's thickened a bit but still fluid,about 1-2 minutes.Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the mustard powder,cayenne,cumin,lime zest,cilantro, and chopped poblano chiles.Adjust  seasonings and salt and black pepper to taste.
5.Slowly add half of the cheddar cheese and stir until melted.(if the sauce has cooled too much the cheese won't melt.Return the pot to the heat,low heat).Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to combine.Top with the remaining half of the cheddar and bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until brown and bubbling.Sprinkle with Cotija cheese and serve immediately.

And now on to the fried,cinnamon and sugar covered pillows of dough: Sopapillas!!!

    Sopapillas require a dance with yeast.It's not tough AT ALL I promise. 
    It's a pretty simple recipe that involves some flour...a wee bit of flour.
  Good heavens did I mention you serve the fried dough with honey and cinnamon and sugar!?!?

adapted from The Homesick Texan
written by Lisa Fain
For the Sopapillas:
1 TBL or 1 1 packet of yeast ( I used active-dry yeast.)
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups all-purpose flour,plus more for kneading
1 TBL granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 TBL unsalted butter,melted
Vegetable oil,for frying
For the Topping:
2 TBL granulated sugar
2 TBL ground cinnamon
honey,to taste
1.Mix the yeast with the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes.Meanwhile,combine the flour,sugar, and salt.Add the melted butter to the yeast mixture and then slowly stir the liquid into the flour mixture. Mix until well combined.Knead the dough for 2 minutes until it is smmot and elastic. Cover and let rise in a well greased bowl for 1 hour or so until the dough has doubled in size.
2.After the dough has risen,punch it down on a floured surface;then roll it out into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle.Using a knife or pizza cutter,cut out 3-inch squares and then cut squares on the diagonal into triangles.
3.Heat 3 inches of oil in a large pot or Dutch oven to 350 degrees.Fry two triangles of dough at a time in the oil for 1 minute on each side.The dough should puff when it hits the oil. Drain the sopapillas on a paper towel,then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.Serve hot with honey. GO all out and serve the hot sopapillas with vanilla ice cream-absolute luxury.



  1. Sounds like a fantastic labor day to me! =)

  2. Both dishes look very good, they are great recipes! Hope you are having a great day and thanks for sharing.
    Miz Helen

  3. What a great menu! I am eying the leftover mac for breakfast, but sadly don't have the sopapillas in our house. Your dishes look great. :)

  4. It was a great labor day and this cookbook has made my last few weeks so fantastic.Blogger's choice might be tough one,but I think I can manage. :)

  5. Great job on making both recipes. I was too afraid I would scarf up all of the sopapillas and my thighs said no, so I am just drooling over the photo of those of you who made them. ;-) I did love the mac 'n cheese though--thighs be damned!

  6. With a menu like that, I wish every day was Labor Day! :)

  7. Both dishes look like they turned out beautifully! I love the picture that you included from Christmas Story too! Thinking of that movie always makes me smile.

    My girls and I noshed on a few sopapillas the day after we originally made them, and I was amazed that they were still tasty. Usually fried dough gets kinda funky the second day, but they held up beautifully!

    Can't wait to see what recipe you choose for this week!