Southwestern-Style Macaroni and Cheese
- Yield: servings
- 3/4cup dried elbow macaroni
- 1/2cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2cup green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4pound thickly sliced ham, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2cup milk
- 1/2cup plain yogurt
- 2ounces Monterey Jack, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1teaspoon minced pickled jalapeno pepper (wear rubber gloves)
- 1/3cup finely crushed taco chips
- In a kettle of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni for 10 to 12 minutes, or until it is al dente. Drain it in a colander and rinse it under warm water.
- In a large saucepan, while the macaroni is cooking, cook the bell peppers and the ham in the oil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the flour and cook the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in the milk and the yogurt, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, and simmer it, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the Monterey Jack and the jalapeno pepper and cook the mixture over moderately low heat, stirring, until the Monterey Jack is just melted. Add the macaroni and salt and pepper to taste and stir the mixture until it is well combined.
- Transfer the macaroni and cheese to a shallow flame-proof baking dish, sprinkle the taco chips over the top and broil the macaroni and cheese under a preheated broiler about 2 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.