Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese
- 30 min
- 1H 15MIN
- 3 jalapeño peppers
- 5 mL (1 tsp) canola oil
- 375 g (12 oz) rotini pasta
- 60 mL (1/4 cup) butter, divided
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 45 mL (3 tbsp) all-purpose flour
- 750 mL (3 cups) whole milk
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 mL (1/4 tsp) each salt and pepper
- 1 L (4 cups) Armstrong medium Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 10 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- 60 mL (1/4 cup) bread crumbs
- 30 mL (2 tbsp) finely chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat broiler. Brush jalapeños with oil; place on foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until tender and lightly charred all over. Let cool completely. Remove seeds; chop peppers and set aside.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
- Melt butter in large skillet set over medium heat; reserve half and set aside. Cook onion and garlic in skillet for about 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in flour; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth.
- Slowly whisk in milk. Add bay leaves; bring to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Stir in salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Remove bay leaves.
- Stir in 3 cups (750 mL) cheese; stir in reserved pasta, bacon and jalapeños. Transfer to greased 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Toss bread crumbs with reserved butter; sprinkle over top.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve with a squeeze of lime juice.
- Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) thawed frozen corn kernels to mac and cheese before baking.
- Substitute pickled jalapeños for roasted jalapeños if desired.