Southwestern-Style Macaroni and Cheese



3/4 cup dried elbow macaroni
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 pound thickly sliced ham, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 ounces Monterey Jack, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon minced pickled jalapeno pepper (wear rubber gloves)
1/3 cup 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.

How to Serve it Up

Compartment Plate
Dinner Plate
Classic White Bowl