Dinners, Side Dishes

Recipe—Jalapeño Popper Mac N’ Cheese

Jalapeño Popper Mac N’ Cheese

My name is Rebecca and I am a cheesy jalapeñoholic. I will literally devour anything with cheese and jalapeños. I HAVE NO SELF CONTROL!

If it has popper in the name, I am game. Mac n’ Cheese with a crispy top is involved. No holding me back. I will literally fall off of any diet wagon for some good mac n’ cheese. That is a universal thing, right? Like, that goes for everyone?

Come on, you start with a creamy white sauce base, add in gobs of pepper jack cheese until it is thick, and creamy, and cheesy, and then add in cooked pasta. It could be perfect as is, but no. It gets better. You add a buttery panko topping that once crisp will replicate that of the exterior of deep-fried jalapeño popper. And then the sliced jalapeños on the top is literally the icing on the cake. SO. DAMN. GOOD!

This recipe goes fantastic with any sort of grilled meat but is totally sufficient as a standalone dish. What says comfort food more than a big ol’ bowl of spiced up mac n’ cheese? Nothing. Absolutely nothing people.

Note: If you do not have an oven safe skillet you can make this in whatever large skillet you have, and then transfer the noodles and cheese sauce to a baking dish before topping with the panko and sliced peppers. 

MACARONI INGREDIENTS
8 oz macaroni pasta, uncooked
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 c milk
3 c pepperjack cheese, crated
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red peppers

TOPPING INGREDIENTS
3 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 c panko
1/4 c jalapeño slices

STEPS

  • Preheat the oven to 400º.
  • Cook the pasta per the package instructions.
  • Drain and allow to sit.
  • Melt the butter in a large oven safe skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Whisk in the flour and cook it for about a minute while stirring continuously until it starts to lightly brown and is well combined.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, making sure it is nice and creamy and starts to thicken after each addition. Continue this until the milk is finished.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer and then reduce heat to low.
  • Whisk in the cheese, salt, pepper, and crushed red peppers and stir until it is all melted and creamy.
  • Add in the cooked pasta making sure all the noodles are evenly coated and remove skillet from heat.
  • Now for the topping!
  • In a small bowl mix together the melted butter and panko.
  • Evenly distribute the topping over the mac n’ cheese.
  • Top with sliced jalapeños.
  • Bake for 8–10 minutes or until the panko starts to turn a nice golden brown and the sauce is simmering around the edges.
  • Allow to rest for about 5 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!
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Dinners

Recipe—Chile Verde Stuffed Poblano Chiles

Trying to squeeze in another Mexican dish before Cinco de Mayo this Sunday. This recipe has got to be one of the best Mexican dishes I have ever made! Mind blowing good! The roasted poblanos have a mild roasted flavor that goes great with the green chile sauce and salty pork. Veggies stuffed with meat of any kind are great if you are watching your carbs or restricted to a gluten free diet. My only regret with making these was that there weren’t more! They were a little bit more work then most of my recipes but completely worth it. Take a break from the ordinary Mexican dish and try this extraordinary one.

Note: My recipe calls for Del Real brand chile verde but you can use any shredded meat. I have been using Del Real products for several years because it is so quick, convenient, and affordable. 

INGREDIENTS
4 poblano (pasilla)chiles
16 oz package of Del Real Chile Verde
1 1/2 c pepper jack cheese, shredded
sour cream
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp red onion, diced
1 tbsp jalapeño, diced

STEPS
Note: If you have never before roasted peppers see this previous post on how to roast peppers for some additional guidance.

  • Prepare the chile verde per package instructions.
  • While the pork is cooking place the poblano chiles on a baking sheet.
  • Broil in the oven and turn every 5–7 minutes until all sides begin to blacken.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer the roasted peppers to a large bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with saran wrap and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Set the oven to 350º.
  • While the peppers are sitting use a slotted spoon to remove the pork from the green chile sauce and transfer the meat to a cutting board.
  • Use a fork to shred the pork and place it back in the sauce and let it sit.
  • Gently peel the skin off the peppers.
  • Using a sharp knife make a slice down one side and carefully remove the majority of the seeds.
  • Holding the pepper in your hand place a handful of the pork inside the pepper and top off with a handful of the shredded cheese and fold the pepper around the filling.
  • Place the stuffed pepper in a large baking dish open side up and secure with a toothpick or two to help hold it closed.
  • Continue stuffing the remaining peppers.
  • Drizzle the peppers with half of the green chile sauce that the meat was in.
  • Bake the stuffed peppers in the oven for 15–20 minutes or until all the cheese is melted.
  • Place the peppers on a plate and garnish with the sour cream, cilantro, onion, and jalapeño.