Jalapeno Mac and Cheese with Four Cheeses

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mac and cheese is the best comfort food! I like to spice it up with some jalapeno...yum!

based on recipe from From Our House to Yours

1 Tbl salt, plus more to taste
1 lb dried pasta such as macaroni, rigatoni, penne, or ziti
6 Tbl (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 fresh jalapenos, de-seeded and diced 
1 Tbl olive oil 
6 C milk
1/2 C all-purpose flour
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 C shredded sharp Cheddar
1 1/2 C shredded mild Cheddar
1 1/2 C shredded Gruyere
1 C freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9 by 13 baking dish and set aside.
  • Stir the 1 Tbl salt into a large pot of rapidly boiling water. Drop the pasta into the water and cook according to the package until al dente. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  •  In a heavy saucepan, cook diced jalapenos in oil until fragrant, about 5 min. Drain any leftover oil and return pot and jalapenos to low heat.
  • add the butter to the pan with jalapenos over low heat and whisk in the flour, and cook, whisking almost constantly, until bubbly and fragrant, approx. 5 min. Remove from heat before it begins to brown.
  •  Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring 6 C milk just to a boil over medium heat. Pour all at once into the butter, flour, and jalapeno mixture and whisk until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  • Place the pot over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened. Pour over cooked pasta and stir to thoroughly  coat the pasta. Spread the pasta evenly in the greased baking dish.
  • In a bowl, combine the cheeses and sprinkle them evenly over the pasta. Lightly dust the top with freshly ground pepper to taste and bake until the cheese melts and the pasta is completed heated, about 25-30 min.

Photo courtesy of From Our House to Yours by Chronicle Books


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