Jalapeño Mac N Cheese

Jalapeño Mac N Cheese

Friendsgiving is one of my favorite traditions. It’s thanksgiving, except instead of family, we celebrate with our closest friends over good food (potluck style) and lots of wine. Though I’ve previously made other recipes like this pumpkin & spinach lasagna, this year I went with Jalapeño Mac N Cheese.

Macaroni and Cheese has always been one of my favorite foods. Of course, as a kid, it was all about the Kraft Blue Box. And don’t get me wrong, I still don’t have a problem with powdered cheese on tiny elbow (basically straight) noodles, but there are definitely a million ways to improve upon this classic. This recipe adds a little heat with some pepper jack and jalapeños and also adds in some hearty flavor with sautéed mushrooms. YUM!

The ladies of friendsgiving 2015

Ingredients: 

  • 2 C macaroni pasta
  • 4 T butter
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 1 egg
  • 5 ounces cheddar shredded (sharp, preferable)
  • 5 ounces of pepper jack shredded
  • 1.5 C milk plus 1/4 C milk (I use whole)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1/4 C jalapeños chopped
  • 1 C chopped mushrooms

Recipe:

1. Boil macaroni. Make sure to under-cook it a little. This package said about 8 minutes to al dente and I only cooked it for 6. It should be a little firm when you take it out. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a deep pot, melt butter and mix with flour. Whisk constantly for about 5 minutes to avoid burning on low-med heat. This will form your roux or thickening agent.

3. Slowly add in the milk and whisk to combine. Allow this to simmer for a few minutes and thicken.

4. Add in almost all the cheese (save a little for the topping) and begin to whisk. Then add in the egg. Whisk thoroughly so the egg is fully combined.

5. In a side pan, sauté the mushrooms without any added oil or butter. There is plenty in the dish already.

6. Add in the mushrooms and jalapeños as well as the seasonings. Then combine with the pasta.

7. Cover the bottom of your baking dish with the remaining 1/4 C milk to form a light layer of milk at the bottom. This helps keep the pasta moist! Place macaroni on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

8. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!

Loosely adapted from The Pioneer Woman

 

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