Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jalapeno Popper Mac n' Cheese

The second recipe that I made for Clayton's birthday dinner party was Jalapeno Popper Mac n' Cheese. We love jalapeno poppers, or really anything that involves the use of jalapenos or any pepper for that matter. Well, we went to the Olde Pink House in Savannah, which is considered to be the city's best restaurant. And on the menu was Mac n' Cheese Jalapeno Poppers (which I'm also going to make, so stay tuned), so it inspired me to make Jalapeno Popper Mac n' Cheese with roasted chiles & jalapenos, crispy bacon, a white creamy cheese sauce similar to the cream cheese stuffing in a jalapeno popper, and then we topped it with crispy panko breadcrumbs (kind of like the crispy breading of a fried jalapeno popper). This mac n' cheese was awesome, the cheese sauce was super creamy, the roasted peppers gave it an amazing natural heat, the bacon gave it a nice smokiness, and the crispy topping just pulled it all together. You definitely need to be making this for any jalapeno popper fan.
Jalapeno Popper Mac n' Cheese
For the Cheese Sauce:
¼C Unsalted Butter
3 Jalapenos, Finely Diced
¼C AP Flour
½t Salt
¼t Pepper
1t Worcestershire
3C Milk
2C Monterey Jack Cheese, Shredded
1C White Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
1 Block of Cream Cheese, Softened

For the Mac n’ Cheese:   
1lb Pasta, Cooked
½lb Bacon, Cooked & Crumbled
½lb Spicy Sausage, Cooked & Crumbled
½C + ¼C Pepperjack Cheese, Shredded
1 Poblano, Roasted & Chopped
Prepared Cheese Sauce
1C Panko Breadcrumbs
3T Butter, Cut into Cubes

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9x13-baking dish with Pam.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced jalapenos and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Add the milk slowly, whisking constantly until it all has been added. Heat it to boiling for about 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in the Monterey jack, white cheddar, and cream cheese until melted and smooth.
3. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cooked pasta, bacon, and sausage, as well as the roasted, chopped poblano pepper and ½C shredded pepperjack cheese. Pour the cheese sauce into this mixture until completely combined. Transfer the mac n’ cheese into the prepared baking dish and top with the ¼C pepperjack, panko breadcrumbs, and top with the cubed butter.
4. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Serve the Jalapeno Popper Mac n’ Cheese hot.

source:jalapeno popper mac n cheese

*Check out the Pasta Link Party for this recipe, as well as many other wonderful recipes!

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