Spicy Mac & Cheese
Mac and cheese was always a favorite of mine growing up, but I wanted to put a spicy spin on this classic dish!
1 box (16oz) of elbow macaroni
¼ cup butter
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapeños, finely chopped (remove seed and rinse for less heat)
¼ red onion, chopped
¼ cup shredded carrot
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
8oz (about a cup and a half) Monterrey Jack, shredded
8oz Pepper Jack, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large pot cook pasta until al dente. Rinse with cold water, leaving some of the water in the pot so the pasta doesn’t stick, and set aside.
(1.) In a large deep skillet or heavy saucepan, melt butter on low-medium heat. Add peppers, onion, carrot, and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with cayenne and crushed red pepper, stir in flour, and cook mixture for about 3 minutes. (2.) Add the milk and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer mixture for 2-3 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a large baking pan or casserole dish.
(3.) Drain pasta and add to a large bowl. Remove vegetable mixture from heat and stir in with macaroni. Stir in shredded Monterrey Jack and Pepper until cheese is melted and all ingredients are combined. Stir in chopped cilantro, salt and pepper.
(4.) Transfer to baking dish and top with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from oven, dish it up, and serve!
If you’re looking for a bit more pep in your step, add Sriracha to your mac and cheese ; )