I got this recipe from a friend of mines blog, Cassie Craves. I have been searching for years for the perfect Mac n Cheese recipe, yet none have come close. Tonight however, this recipe did. While I really liked this, it wasn't quite the 'So-good-it-knocks-you-on-your-ass' Mac n Cheese I'm searching for (to be honest, I'm not sure it exists...except maybe at Trail's End Restaurant in Fort Wilderness at Disney World...Mmmmmm). If it were up to my husband, my search would end here. He looooooved this Mac n Cheese. His exact words were, "It's got bacon, it's got jalapenos, it's got cheese...what more could you POSSIBLY want???" Speaking of jalapenos, let me throw in a word of caution here. When you've finished chopping the jalapenos, DO NOT touch any part of your face. It will hurt like hell if you do. Should you forget this advice though, and you DO end up with a face that's on fire, wash it with milk. Yes...Milk. Wash your hands and face with milk, and the burn will go right away...trust me...I know. So! Let me share with you my friend Cassie's VERY tasty recipe for:
'Jalapeno Popper Mac n Cheese'
Source: Cassie Craves
1/2 pound bacon
1 pound elbow pasta
1/4 cup butter
2 large jalapenos or 4 small jalapenos, finely diced
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cups milk
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
5 ounces cream cheese
1 cup bread crumbs or crushed Ritz crackers
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Heat oven to 350. Cook bacon to desired crispness; drain on paper towels, crumble, and set aside (I used Oscar Mayer pre-cooked bacon just to shave a little prep time off dinner). Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup butter in a LARGE saucepan over medium heat.
Add jalapenos and cook for 3 minutes, or until they’re slightly softened. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Add milk; heat to boiling and stir constantly for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in cheddar cheese and cream cheese until melted and smooth.
Add pasta and bacon to the cheese sauce and mix gently. Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Combine 3 tablespoons melted butter with the bread crumbs or crackers; sprinkle evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until topping is slightly browned.