In the last year, I've been lucky enough to find two great groups of ladies to hang out with - my monthly book club and my Shot Girls tennis team. It's not as easy to make new friends as a grown up as it is when you're younger, but when you do, it's a lot of fun. I recently went to a potluck with my tennis friends to kick off the fall season, and I was thinking about the fact that I got to cook something that didn't have to be "kid-friendly." For me, this means something spicy that my kids wouldn't eat, so I ended up making jalapeno mac & cheese.
This dish doesn't need much of an explanation or much hype. Jalapeno mac & cheese. It was amazing! Only recipe note: use whatever cheese you like. I used a sharp cheddar and a little bit of jack cheese to round it off. You can omit the breadcrumbs if you want to.
Jalapeno Mac & Cheese (8 side dish servings)
1 lb macaroni (or other noodle of choice)
4 T butter
3 T flour
1 c. milk
4.5 c. shredded cheese
pepper, paprika, cayenne to taste
1 small can (about 4 T) diced jalapenos
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 350. Cook macaroni (or noodle of choice) until al dente. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in a medium sized sauce pan and whisk in flour until smooth. Add milk and shredded cheese (for best results, add cheese a little at a time and whisk constantly).
If it seems too thick, add between a few tablespoons and another half cup of milk. Season with pepper, paprika, and cayenne (to taste). Add diced canned jalapenos. In a buttered pan, combine the macaroni noodles and the cheese sauce. Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs and bake for 20 minutes.