Monday, October 12, 2009

Jalapeño Popper Mac 'n' Cheese

popper, originally uploaded by Kim De.

I love it when inspiration comes from another foodie blog. This happens frequently with this blog, Culinary in the Desert. Joe recently made macaroni and cheese. I know I have said in the past I am done with new recipes for this dish, but this looked too good to pass up.

Serrano and jalapeno peppers are sliced and diced then sauted with garlic before adding it to cooked pasta. A creamy sauce of milk and cream cheese is blended with the other ingredients, followed by a sprinkling of shredded cheese on the top before a quick run under the broiler.

Ok, I was wrong. I do have a reason to try other recipes for macaroni and cheese. This was a winner. Creamy with a quick peppery bite, this recipe will be made again. Next time with whole wheat penne, and more peppers. If you like the flavor of jalapeno poppers, you will like this!

Jalapeño Popper Mac 'n' Cheese (Adapted from Rachael Ray and Culinary in the Desert)

16 oz dry tube style pasta
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 jalapeño chiles, seeded, ribs removed -- and thinly sliced
2 serrano chiles, seeded, ribs removed -- and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups milk
8 oz cream cheese, sliced into cubes
2 Tbs minced green onions
¼ cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and place back into the pot off heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Stir in jalapeños, serranos and garlic - cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add to the pot with the drained pasta.

Preheat the broiler.

In the same saucepan, add milk, cream cheese and onion - heat over medium-low, stirring, until very smooth, about 5 minutes. Pour in to the pot with the pasta and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, tossing well to coat. Scoop mixture into a casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Place under the broiler and bake until lightly browned on top, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove and let cool slightly before serving.

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