Jalapeno Popper Mac N Cheese
When you want a comfort meal for a special occasion - this is the recipe for you!
4 jalapeno peppers, sliced and seeds removed
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
Combine vinegar, sugar and garlic powder in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to boil 2-3 minutes. Add peppers. Cook for 3-4 minutes (don't overcook or the mixture will get too sticky). Remove peppers & put in a bowl. Continue to cook liquid for 5 minutes until it's reduced in half. Pour the mixture over the jalapenos & set aside. Peppers need to completely cool.
6 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
6 Tbsp. of butter, divided
1/4 cup of Panko bread crumbs
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound of captavi rotini pasta
1/8 cup of flour
2 cups of whole milk
1 cup of cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of monterey jack
1/4 cup of cream cheese
1. Bring large pot of water to boil. Once water boils, add 1 Tbsp, of salt and pasta. Cook pasta 3 minutes less than recommended on the box. Drain pasta & set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees & butter the bottom of a baking dish (8x8 or 9x9)
3. Heat frying pan to medium-high heat. Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter. Add garlic, cooking about 1 minute. Add Panko breadcrumbs to pan and stir until golden brown.
4. In large pot used to cook pasta, melt 4 Tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat. Once melted, whisk flour & let it bubble 1-2 minutes. Add milk & stir constantly for 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Once sauce thickens, remove from heat & add cheeses, cream cheese & 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir until cheeses are melted & combined. Add drained, candied jalapenos & four strips of crumpled bacon. Save the remaining bacon for topping.
5. Pour mixture into the skillet & top with Panko breadcrumb mixture, remaining bacon & a few pieces of remaining candied jalapeno.
6. Cook uncovered for 25 minutes.