The same creamy macaroni and cheese that I base all my recipes from but with a kick of jalapeno and crunchy bacon!
Over the weekend we finally hosted our house warming party. We’ve lived here 4 months, and while there are still walls that need to be painted and decorations to hang, we decided we should do it now or never! The week leading up to it I was anxiously checking the weather every day as there were predictions of rain storms all week and through the weekend. Luckily the weather held off and we had a great day on our patio with friends.
I originally thought we would just do finger foods/snacks but Bob wanted to break in the smoker for the season so while he prepared the pork I took to work on the side dishes. I made a classic broccoli salad and a jalapeno popper version of my macaroni and cheese. Same creamy cheddar cheese sauce with some fresh chopped jalapeno and crispy bacon mixed in. I did double the recipe to make sure we had enough and I’m glad I did because we had zero leftovers of anything!
Three years ago: June 2016 Stitch Fix #16
Four years ago: Ginger-Nectarine Galette
Five years ago: Creamy Chicken Sausage and Kale Pasta
Six years ago: Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers with Roasted Garlic Avocado Cream
Eight years ago: Veggie Eggs Benedict
JALAPENO POPPER MAC & CHEESE
Serves 6 as side or 4 as entree
8 oz. favorite pasta shape
2-1/2 cups whole milk, warmed
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced (some slices reserved for garnish, if desired)
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 11×7-inch (about 2 quarts) casserole dish and set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions until just barely al-dente (about 1 minute less than recommended cook time). Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium heat add butter and melt until frothy. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Continue cooking until it begins to bubble and turn golden, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly pour in milk, whisking vigorously, until all the milk is incorporated and mixture is smooth (will clump but keep whisking).
- Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking regularly, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in cayenne, paprika, and salt and pepper. Slowly add cheeses (except a 1/2 cup mixture of cheddar-Parmesan), a handful at a time, whisking until melted before adding more. Stir in pasta, jalapeno, and bacon until evenly coated.
- Pour into the prepared dish. Sprinkle with reserved cheese, Panko, and reserved jalapeno slices over top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until filling is bubbling, then broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Source: Adapted from Cheetos Mac & Cheese.