Friday, April 23, 2010

Jalapeno mac n cheese n cheese n cheese

Somehow I made it to the ripe old age of 38 without ever making homemade mac n cheese.
I decided to give it a try for a potluck at work.
How did I never know how easy this stuff is?

Jalapeno mac n cheese n cheese n cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni or shell pasta
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups half and half or whole milk

1 package (5.2 ounces) Boursin garlic and herb cheese
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (I used 2, but could have used 3)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I used half panko, half fine bread crumbs)
3 tablespoons melted butter

Grease or spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or baking dish. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta in boiling water following package directions. Drain and rinse; set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until smooth and bubbly. Add the milk or half-and-half and Boursin cheese. Cook, stirring, until hot and thickened. Add the cheese and peppers. Cook, stirring, until cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Combine the sauce with the pasta and stir to blend. Spoon into prepared baking dish.

Toss melted butter and bread crumbs together and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

I like the bread crumbs to be pretty toasty, so I gave it a few minutes under the broiler to get them very golden and toasty.

This seemed to go over pretty well at the potluck. I made a big pan of it for that and a smaller pan for Nick and I to have for dinner with a salad on the side.

There were no leftovers at all.

I used two jalapenos in this, but I think one more would have been good for a little more heat.

Or, if you want more chile flavor but not more heat, maybe add in some roasted red pepper or a small can of chopped ortega chiles.


pagebert said...

Homemade mac and cheese is amazing. I made it for the first time last year and was really surprised at how easy it was and so much better than boxed. I can't wait to try it with the jalapeno!

Inez Valentina said...

OMG, this looks incredible. Jalapeno and cheese are a winning combo. Can't wait to try it!

Jill said...

It was good. I have been craving this recently.
I may have to trot this out over the weekend if I can bring myself to turn on the oven.
I hear it is supposed to be pretty warm.

Anonymous said...

If it is too warm to fire up the oven then I suppose the jalapeno might be a bit over the top as well then. ⋛⋋﹏⋌⋚