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jalapeno popper mac and cheese

Jalapeño Popper Mac And Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta noodles
  • 1 pound white American cheese sliced (3/4 pound required - 1/4 pound optional)
  • 8 slices bacon crumbled
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers stemmed, seeds removed, and diced
  • 4 ounces cream cheese 1/2 of normal sized package
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Roughly chop 1/2 of the sliced American cheese and place to the side. 
  3. Heat to a boil a pot full of water (lightly salted), then add the pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente. Drain the pasta and place to the side. 

  4. In a high sided pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the jalapeño pepper, and cook the jalapeño in the butter, stirring often, for one minute.
  5.  Add the flour to the jalapeño and continue to stir until the mix turns pasty and lightly browns (approximately 2 minutes). 

  6. Add the heavy cream and milk, stirring often to fully combine. Simmer the mix for 3 to 4 minutes, until the sauce thickens. 
  7. Add the cream cheese, chopped American cheese, chili powder, black pepper, and salt. Stir continuously until the cheeses melt. 
  8. Add the cooked pasta noodles and bacon to the sauce. Stir to combine. 
  9. Transfer half the pasta and sauce into a baking dish, then layer half of the remaining cheese slices over top. Pour in the rest of the pasta and sauce atop the cheese.

  10. Bake the mac and cheese for 15 minutes, then (optional) place the remaining cheese slices atop of the dish, spread evenly. Bake for an additional 1 to 2 minutes to melt and lightly brown.

  11. Remove the mac and cheese from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Serve.