Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese
Ted Terio | Sales Consultant, Reinhart Shawano Division
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2 cups shredded cheddar, divided use
- 16 oz dried cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup diced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 to 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded, minced
- 8 oz cream cheese, frozen and cubed
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup crushed jalapeno cheddar Cheetos
- ½ cup French’s crispy jalapenos
- Optional: 8 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
- Make roux: Melt butter in medium pan; whisk in flour and cook, stirring for one minute to two minutes. Add cream and half-and-half; cook until thickened. Off heat, add half of cheddar cheese. Transfer sauce to slow cooked; add cooked pasta.
- Sauté onions, garlic and jalapenos in oil until soft; add to slow cooker along with cream cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well; top with remaining cheddar. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.
- For service, top with crushed Cheetos, French’s jalapenos and bacon. Terio uses a slow cooker for this spiced-up comfort-food classic. It also can be baked.