5–6 hatch green chiles, roasted, peeled and seeds removed and diced (about 1 cup) *see notes
1– 1 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4–5 cups shredded cheese (I used a combination of sharp white cheddar and sharp cheddar, but I think gouda and/or monterrey jack would both be delicious as well)
Melt butter in a large stock pot (I prefer using my Le Creuset Dutch Oven) over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk together until combined. Stir for about 1 minute until it turns slightly golden. Whisk in 1 cup of water until smooth and once the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, gradually pour in remaining milk and water, continuing to stir until smooth.
Add pasta shells to the pot, along with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer, and cook until pasta is al dente, about 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
Once the pasta is cooked, remove from heat, and stir in the green chiles and cheeses until smooth and creamy. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
*I used freshly roasted hatch green chiles from Central Market here in Dallas, however, canned hatch chiles would work as well!