I don’t know what it is about September that makes me crave Mac & Cheese…but for some reason, fall and this deliciousness just go hand in hand. The other night, we indulged with this Jalapeno Bacon Mac & Cheese as a side to our chicken. You can make it for a side or you can make it for an entree. You should probably just make it :). We didn’t seed our jalapenos, so ours was a little spicy, but if you want less heat, just remove the ribs and seeds with a spoon from your jalapenos before cooking. I also used turkey bacon…but of course, pork bacon would be excellent too. If you’re in the Mac & Cheese mood too, here are two of my other faves:
This recipe serves four as an entree and about six as a side dish.
1 pound of elbow noodles
8 pieces of bacon, chopped
2 jalapenos (remove ribs & seeds for less heat), chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2½ cups milk (I used 2%)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper
Before you begin, make sure you bring a pot of water up to a rolling boil and then drop in your elbow noodles and cook to al dente (about 6 to 7 minutes). Drain water and reserve hot pasta.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, crisp up your bacon pieces. Once crispy, remove just a few for garnish. Next, stir in your chopped jalapeno peppers and saute just a minute. Add in your butter and as soon as it melts, whisk in your flour. Whisk for a minute before slowly whisking in your milk. Reduce heat to low and continue whisking. Whisk in your Dijon and shredded cheddar along with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Your sauce should thicken up nicely but if for some reason, you find it too thick, just add in a little more milk. Once your sauce has come together and is coating the back of your spoon (that’s a good way to test if it’s thick enough), then stir in your cooked pasta. Toss everything together and then you’re ready to serve.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with your reserved bacon pieces.
I mean…it’s a creamy indulgence, but occasionally, that’s okay, right?