Mac and Cheese with Roasted Jalapenos and Bacon

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1Made this recipe

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes


2 fresh jalapeno peppers

4 ounces applewood-smoked bacon, diced

3/4 cup panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

2 cups whole milk, heated to just below simmer

12 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

Salt to taste

8 ounces dry garganelli or penne pasta


01Preheat oven to 350°F. A deep 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
02Roast jalapeno directly over stovetop gas burner (or under preheated broiler), turning with tongs, until skins are blistered. Transfer into a cold ice bath. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard stems, skin and seeds. Chop flesh into fine dice and set aside.
03Cook bacon in a skillet until lightly browned; transfer with slotted spoon to a small bowl lined with paper towels to drain any excess fat.
04With the remaining bacon fat in the pan, saute the breadcrumbs until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
05In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk to combine. Let cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until lightly brown with nutty aroma. Gradually whisk in milk until sauce is simmering and thickened. Let sauce bubble gently until thick, about 10 minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t scorch on bottom. Remove from heat and whisk in cheddar cheese.
06Stir in jalapenos and bacon in cheese sauce until well combined. Add the cooked pasta to cheese sauce and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Top with breadcrumb mixture.
07Bake for 30 minutes, or until browned at the top.

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Heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Wait until the pan is hot and the butter has fully melted.