All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
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OK – this is the best fucking mac & cheese I have ever made! It was made out of crap I had in my fridge that I needed to use before it went bad. Look how wrinkled & sad this orange pepper is:
I had leftover whole wheat penne (and I added some freshly cooked macaroni):
And some random cheese:
The only ingredient I had to go buy was soy milk.
So – armed with a selection of bits & pieces & a desire to TRY my new candied jalapenos - I invented this dish. Candied jalapenos take about ten minutes and are a revelation!!!! MAKE SOME! This entire mac & cheese recipe? A few steps, sure – but all easy. And I promise you – the flavor of the cheeses & roasted jalapeno contrasted against the sweet, candied jalapenos is worth the price of admission. This is THE BEST mac & cheese I have ever tasted. Seriously. This can be tweaked easily so do not give up if you hate goat cheese or don’t have a wrinkled, old, orange pepper. Just improvise!
I apologize for the less than inspired photography – but I wanted to get my eat on & my drink on! Can you blame me?
Roasted Jalapeno & Goat Cheese Mac & Cheese with Candied Jalapenos
Candied jalapenos (recipe HERE) – they take 10 minutes so DO IT!
8 cups cooked pasta (1 1/2 lbs dry pasta??)
6 oz goat cheese
6 oz fresh mozzarella – sliced
2 cups grated cheddar (or other cheese) blend
1 bell pepper – diced
1/2 onion – diced
2 roasted jalapenos (or just raw – diced) – use more or less to suit your taste
2 scallions – chopped
2 cups milk (or vegan alternative)
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
S&P to taste
Heat the oven to 350.
Cook the pasta you are using according to package directions, drain & put in a large mixing bowl.
Char the outside of the jalapenos until they blacken. You can do this directly on the burners or by broiling in the oven. Once blackened, seal them in Tupperware or wrap them in foil for about 15 minutes. This will sweat the skin off. Then, under cool running water, roll the blackened skin away & squeeze off the tops & remove the seeds. Then – chop the jalapenos finely.
Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a frying pan & saute the roasted (or raw) jalapenos, onions, scallions & bell pepper until soft – maybe 5 minutes. Dump them onto your cooked pasta.
Melt the butter in a pan over med-high heat. Whisk in the flour. Whisk smooth. When it gets thick (and that will be almost immediately) – add the milk slowly – allowing the mixture to thicken each time.
When you add the last of the milk – also add the goat cheese & the grated cheese blend. Melt & dump onto the pasta & stir to combine completely. And S&P to taste.
Pour this into a greased casserole pan.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven & add the sliced mozzarella & some candied jalapenos.
Bake another 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven & allow to rest 10-15 minutes.
Then – serve it with maybe some more roasted jalapenos or candied jalapenos – or both.
Then just shovel this into your face & be prepared to blame menopause for your impending girth. Or a massive tumor. Whatever. Just eat this glorious stuff without caution or guilt. Feel free to get drunk, too. Who’s watching?