When we ate at The Mill a few weeks ago, my husband ordered their special side of jalapeno mac and cheese. It was really good and he’s been talking about it ever since. We had our first cookout of the season on Saturday and what better time to try to replicate it?
I searched around for some recipes ranging from the super easy to some really complicated ones. Although The Mill’s dish had bacon in it, I had to leave it out to stay true to my Challenge. I finally settled on this recipe from Kitchen Treaty. It had enough heat to satisfy the hot heads but not too much so my son and I couldn’t eat it. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures of the finished product but rest assured it was delicious and there weren’t any leftovers!
The recipe and my notes can be found below.
8 oz. pasta of choice
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2½ cups milk *I used 2%
1 cup plus ½ cup grated smoked cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup plus ½ cup medium cheddar cheese, divided *I couldn’t find smoked cheddar so I used sharp and mild cheddar
2 medium jalapeno peppers, stems removed and finely diced (include seeds for spicier chili; leave them out for a milder version) *I left seeds in one of the peppers and it was plenty spicy
1 teaspoon jalapeno Tabasco sauce (or more to taste)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Boil the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking, drain.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour, dry mustard, salt, and black pepper. Whisk constantly over medium heat for about three minutes.
3. Continue stirring with the whisk and slowly pour in the milk. Whisk frequently for about 5 minutes, and then constantly for another 5 minutes or so, until the sauce heats and thickens.
4. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the smoked cheddar, 1 cup of the medium cheddar, jalapeno peppers, and Tabasco sauce, stirring until the cheese has melted.
5. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and toss gently until coated.
6. Add half the noodles to a two quart casserole dish and sprinkle on half of the remaining cheeses. Add the remaining pastas and sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.