Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jalapeno-Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but I love macaroni and cheese! It has something to do with my obsession with cheese and pasta. And when you add bacon and sauteed jalapenos that just makes everything that much better. 
There is just something about cheesy, gooey macaroni with a little bit heat that just makes my tummy and mouth very happy. Then again lots of different foods makes my tummy and my mouth happy. What can I say, I am a food nut. 
For those of you who are looking for a spiced up macaroni recipe, this one is a wonderful one to try! 

Jalapeno-Bacon Macaroni and Cheese 

5 slices Bacon 
3 whole Jalapeno Peppers, Diced 
1 pound Macaroni or Rottini Pasta
1 Tablespoon Butter 
1 Tablespoon Flour 
2 cups Whole Milk 
½ cups Heavy Cream 
2 cups Shredded Cheese of Your Choice 
1 pinch Nutmeg 
1 pinch Salt 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Fry bacon until crisp but not burned. Set aside and crumble when cooled. 
Sauté diced jalapeno peppers in the leftover bacon grease. You can also clean out the grease and sauté in an oil of your choice. I simply prefer the added bacony goodness! Set aside sautéed jalapenos. 
Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions. 
While pasta is cooking, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter. Add flour and whisk together to form a roux. (Mixture should resemble wet sand and smell slightly nutty.) 
Add milk and cream, stirring constantly to incorporate. 
Add cheeses. I used sharp cheddar and mozzarella, but you can adjust the cheeses and proportions to your taste. 
Add a pinch of nutmeg, and salt to taste. Continue stirring until the cheeses have all melted and the sauce mixture has thickened…about 5 to 8 minutes. 
Add sautéed jalapenos and crumbled bacon to the sauce, stirring to combine fully. 
Spread half of the cooked pasta evenly across the bottom of a greased 9″x13″ baking dish. Pour half of the sauce over the pasta. Then spread the other half of the pasta across, and pour on the last half of the cheese sauce. (If you want, you can then sprinkle additional shredded cheese over the top of everything. This isn't a necessary step, but it adds that nice “cheese overload” factor.) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes

So delicious!!

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