- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1/4 pound (1 cup, packed) finely shredded jack cheese
- 1/4 pound (1 cup, packed) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup corn kernels (frozen is okay, if frozen, defrost before using)
- 1 1/4 cups chopped roasted, seeded green chiles (or three 4 ounce cans diced roasted green chiles)*
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup panko or other breadcrumbs
- Cook the macaroni very al dente: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (a tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water). Add the macaroni pasta. Return to a rolling boil, and boil, uncovered, for about 2 minutes less than the cooking time given on the pasta box instructions. The pasta should be mostly cooked, but still a little too firm to eat; it will complete its cooking in the oven. When the pasta is ready, drain it into a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Make a roux with butter and flour: In an ovenproof pot such as a casserole or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted and bubbly, stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook this, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. You don't want the roux to brown.
- Slowly whisk in milk, then the cheeses: Add the milk to the roux, a little at a time, stirring constantly so that lumps do not form. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the cheeses third at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition.
- Stir in pasta, chiles, corn, lime juice, salt: Add the macaroni, chiles, corn and lime juice and stir until well combined. Taste for salt, add a teaspoon, less or more, if needed.
- Top with panko and bake: Top the mac and cheese with panko or breadcrumbs. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes at 400°F, or until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
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