This is my husband’s all time favorite macaroni and cheese.
I have a weird thing about peppers. I’m not necessarily against spicy things, although I do seem to have a more delicate palette than others. But, what I have found is that I really like peppers that are warm-toned, like reds, oranges and yellows, over their green counterparts. This is especially true of bell peppers as I really only eat green bell peppers in certain recipes. But even when you look at the jalapeño and it’s spicier sister, the habanero, I would prefer the flavor of the habanero any day.
My husband likes spicy, period. He puts hot sauce on almost anything. He’s willing to compete in any atomic chicken wing challenge. He dumps red pepper flakes into his Sunday Sauce like it’s nothing. And, he’s completely colorblind to the peppers, eating any variety he can find.
So, when I’m trying to do something nice for him, I often make up a batch of this macaroni and cheese with cheddar and his hot, green jalapeños. It’s a bit spicier than I prefer, but if you like a little cheese with your heat, this might be perfect for you!
Spicy Jalapeño Cheddar Mac & Cheese
1 lb. macaroni noodles
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 8oz. brick mild cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup diced jalapeños
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven 350F.
Boil pasta in generously-salted water until the pasta is al dente. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in a large pan on medium heat. Add flour and stir to create a roux. Add in milk and stir until it becomes slightly thicker and smooth Add cheddar and nutmeg and stir until melted and smooth.
Fold macaroni into the cheese mixture and stir to mix completely. Add the jalapeños and stir to combine. Season to taste. Pour mixture into a greased 8×8 pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and browned on the top.