Your Life A to Z

Elk Chili and Hatch Red Chile Mac and Cheese


Elk Chili

I made this to put over hotdogs as a way more fun way to eat a chili dog. I eat grass fed hotdogs these days and elk seems like a good match for that.  I also enjoy it in a bowl with some cheese and sour cream kind a like my mom used to make on Sunday when we were growing up.

1 lb ground elk

1 cup dry pinto beans cooked separate with a teaspoon of salt in 6 cups of water till tender then drained

4 slices bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups diced onion
4 cloves garlic smashed and chopped
1/2 cup mezcal
3 Roma tomatoes
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp maseca
1 tsp ancho powder
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp guajillo powder
1 tsp chile negro powder 
3 cups water

In a medium size pot over medium high heat fry the bacon; then add the onion and garlic and cook for about one minute.  Then add the elk and cook until browned.  Meanwhile take the remaining ingredients except for the beans put them in a blender and purée.  Pour into the pot with the elk add the beans and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.  Taste for salt you are now done.

Hatch Red Chile Mac and Cheese 
This one is made with chilies cause guess what I like- chiles!  And it's also made with a hell of a lot of cheese because I don't like it when I feel short changed.  The cream adds the right amount of richness to this dish that it deserves and the spices, well I think they take it somewhere beyond your typical box mix.  Enjoy this one as a side dish or with a light salad.  Make it a dinner and don't forget the beer. This dish serves 1 to 4 depending on how you feel about mac & cheese. I personally don't mind American cheese but this one calls for organic Valley which is really a Colby cheese so it's not the fake stuff, but the fake stuff works too.
2 cups macaroni 
2 cups Tillamook medium cheddar cheese cut into cubes 
2 slices organic valley "American cheese "
2 cup heavy cream 
1 tsp mustard powder 
2 tsp cholula 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp black pepper 
1/2 tsp granulated garlic 
1/4 tsp cumin 
4 red hatch chiles soaked in hot water and chopped when soft the discard the water
Have ready two sauce pans -  in one heat 6 cups of water to a boil with about a half a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of vegetable oil.  Then when boiling stir in the macaroni and cook until al dente.  While the macaroni is boiling heat the cream in the other sauce pan add the spices and the chiles.   When the macaroni is done quickly drain it then poured directly into the simmering cream mixture.  Mix well add the chiles then the cheddar and last the American slices.  Stir over low heat until the cheese is melted and serve immediately.

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