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Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese

Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese

If you like macaroni and cheese and you like spicy, then this is the macaroni and cheese recipe for you! It's full of flavor, and is a far cry from the boxed mac and cheese mixes that you can get. You can make this ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you want a delicious dinner.

Serves: 6

Cooking Time: 1 hr

Ingredients
  • 5 cups macaroni, rotini or fusili
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3 cups homogenized milk
  • 3 cups grated old cheddar cheese (about .75 lb/375 g)
  • 1 tablespoon seeded and finely chopped fresh or canned jalapeno pepper
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander or Italian parsley
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar, lemon or lime juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
     
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a full rolling boil.
     
  3. Add the pasta and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until nearly cooked al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes.
     
  4. Drain well but do not rinse. Set aside.
     
  5. Lightly grease a 12-cup (3L) casserole dish.
     
  6. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat.
     
  7. Stir in the flour and mustard. Do not let the flour brown. Gradually whisk in the milk. Continue stirring gently over medium heat until the sauce thickens, about 6 minutes.
     
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese and the jalapeno pepper. Stir until the cheese is completely melted. Taste and add more jalapeno, if you wish.
     
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and toss to evenly coat.
     
  10. Then, turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
     
  11. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. (If making ahead, casserole can be refrigerated at this point for up to a day before serving).
     
  12. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 40 - 45 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly around the edges and the pasta is heated through.
     
  13. Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes. Set aside with the coriander in a medium-size bowl.
     
  14. Stir in the vinegar, garlic and seasonings.
     
  15. Remove the baked pasta from the oven.
     
  16. Spoon some of the tomato mixture with each serving.
Notes
  • The baked casserole will keep well, covered, in the refrigerator for several days or can be frozen.
     
  • Can't get enough of a good thing?  Check out more yummy macaroni and cheese recipes here!
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