Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese

 

It feels like I have been waiting fifty years for the new season of Lost to start.  I LOVE this show.  Terry and I didn't even get into it until the middle of the second season when our friend Kevin insisted that we borrow his copy of the first seasons DVDs and give them a try.  Terry and I literally immersed ourselves into the first season and were hooked, we watched the first half of the second season on the internet and then we became regular watchers.  Last night we invited over our fellow Lost worshipers, my cousins, Timmy and CCB (crazy cousin Bud) for dinner and to watch the sixth and last season premier.  These boys really appreciate my cooking so I decided to indulge them and pull out the recipe for Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese.  I first became acquainted with this recipe when Joe reviewed it on his blog, Culinary in the Desert, and it got rave reviews on the CLBB.

Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese
(Adapted from Joe and from Rachel Ray)

16 ounces dry cavatappi pasta
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 jalapeño chiles, seeded, ribs removed and thinly sliced
2 serrano chiles, seeded, ribs removed and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups milk
8 ounces cream cheese, sliced into cubes
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
8 ounces (about 2 cups) shredded Mexican-blend cheese

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and place back into the pot off heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Stir in jalapeños, serranos and garlic - cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add to the pot with the drained pasta.

Preheat the broiler.

In the same saucepan, add milk, cream cheese and onion - heat over medium-low, stirring, until very smooth, about 5 minutes. Pour in to the pot with the pasta and add the cheese - season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, tossing well to coat. Scoop mixture into a casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Place under the broiler and bake until lightly browned on top, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove and let cool slightly before serving.

Makes about 6 servings.

 
 In a large pot of boiling, salted water, add pasta and cook according to package directions.  Drain and place back into the pot off heat.
 
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Stir in jalapeños, serranos and garlic - cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add to the pot with the drained pasta (I forgot this step and left it in with the next step.) Preheat the broiler.
  In the same saucepan, add milk, cream cheese and onion - heat over medium-low, stirring, until very smooth, about 5 minutes.
 
 Pour in to the pot with the pasta and add the cheese - season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, tossing well to coat.
 
Scoop mixture into a casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Place under the broiler and bake until lightly browned on top, about 3 to 5 minutes.
First off, Lost was AMAZING, as I imagined it would be, just like our Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese!  It seems like it would be a tedious recipe, but it is not at all.  There are very few steps and those steps foster delicious results.  It really does taste like a pasta version of the Jalapeno Popper football snacks that we all know and love.  In my photos I made a mistake and left the jalapenos in the pot with the cheeses, but it still turned out great.  Before sticking the dish under the broiler I added some Panko bread crumbs and a light spray of cooking oil to create a crunchy topping.  Between the four of us we ate almost the entire thing, and it was served as a side dish!  I have already thrown this one into the "winner" pile and I am sure I will return back to it many times in the future.  

-Heather

3 comments:

Gary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tv Food and Drink said...

Finally made this tonight for LOST. Needless to say, it went over very very well. And LOST was great too. I'm unhappy that there's only six episodes and a finale left. There's so much that will not be answered. Will be linking to your blog from mine with this recipe and some great pics. Thanks again!

Heather Williams said...

I didn't read all of your first comment because I want to be surprised by what plays out in Lost! I agree that in six episodes it seems nearly impossible to answer all of my questions! I will have to say that we have been disappointed in the flash sideways episodes this season, they seem very boring and lacking substance. I am glad you enjoyed the Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese. I got the recipe off of Joe's blog and he has never steered me wrong:)

-Heather