This Bacon Jalepeño Mac n Cheese has just the right amount of heat to make it an exciting treat on game day or a meal that is pure comfort food.
Oh man, this was good. So good that the husband and I found ourselves fighting over the leftovers. Just look at all that gorgeous jalapeño and bacon in the photo below [please do not look at the filthy cook top]. If I could import a smell and have it blow out of your phone, tablet, or monitor, I’d be wafting over the fragrance of jalapeño and bacon because it is one of the best combinations on Earth.
I’m very fond of the particular kind of pasta I used, as well. The stores I frequent don’t actually have very interesting pasta varieties to choose from. I was at Target, of all places, when I found these delicious spirals. The first time I was introduced to this type of pasta was at an event in downtown Portland where a bunch of restaurants had you sample one small dish. One of these restaurants was serving up their house mac n cheese, and like the little piggy I am, I went back for thirds because it was so good. The noodle really does make a difference. This one is like a spiral water slide, but instead of water it holds a creamy gooey river of spicy bacon cheese. Drool.
And for your viewing pleasure, a close up before I shoveled it into my mouth.
And because I couldn’t resist, an extreme close up. One of the advantages to taking all my shots with my macro lens is that I can show you every chunk, spec, and slice of delicious food [right before I eat it].
Who loves to watch bacon cook? I do! I do! I made the VIDEO below just for you. Click play and try to imagine the glorious smell!
- 16 ounces pasta (I used organic trottole)
- 1 pound bacon ends and pieces
- 1 cup sliced fresh jalapenos, with seeds, stems removed (about 5 small)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded gruyere
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta to desired doneness. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon. When done, remove cooked bacon pieces and set aside. Discard bacon grease, reserving no more than a tablespoon in the pot. Add sliced jalapeno to remaining bacon grease with bacon. Cook over medium heat until tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add butter to mixture and allow to melt. Reduce heat to low and add milk and cheeses. Stir until melted. As soon as the cheese has melted and a sauce has formed, remove mixture from heat and stir in pasta. Enjoy!