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Chili Mac recipe

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
1-2 poblano chilies, chopped*
1-2 jalapeno chilies, chopped*
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 pound 90-percent lean ground beef
2 cups water
1(15-ounce) can tomato sauce, or diced
8 ounces (about 2 cups) elbow macaroni **
1(8-ounce) package shredded Mexican cheese blend (2 cups)***
1 cup frozen corn****
2tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves

1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and chopped peppers, and stir until softened. Add chili powder, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and brown sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beef and cook, breaking apart the meat, until lightly browned and no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the water and tomato sauce, then add the pasta. Cover, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, until the pasta is tender, 9 to 12 minutes.

3. Off the heat, stir in 1 cup of the cheese, corn, chiles, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheese over top, cover, and let stand off the heat until the cheese melts, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve.

*For milder, remove the seeds and ribs; leaving them in increases the heat.

**We like using a whole-grain macaroni in this, because the texture is not a problem in this dish.

*** I default to cheddar, maybe with some jack or pepperjack.
**** Trader joe's frozen roasted corn is WONDERFUL in this!
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