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Bacon Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 lb macaroni pasta
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped finely
  • 12 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (you can use more or less according to taste)
  • 1/2 cup sharp aged cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup crushed crackers (I used vegetable crackers but any variety you like should be fine)
    Cheese Sauce:
  • 6 tbsp all purpose flour
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper – use more if you want it more spicy
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp of reserved bacon fat
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sharp aged cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet cook the chopped bacon until very crisp. Drain the fat from the pan and reserve 1 tsp for use in the cheese sauce. (Don’t wash the pan yet! You’ll need it again in a couple steps!)
  2. Place the cooked bacon on a couple layers of paper towel on a plate to allow to drain more. Give the bacon a pat down with some paper towel to help remove an more excess fat. Set aside.
  3. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the macaroni noodles. (You won’t have to add any salt to the water since there’s salt in the cheese sauce.)
  4. While the macaroni is cooking, cook the chopped onion and jalapeno between Low and Medium heat until softened. Any of the leftover bacon fat in the pan (should only be a little coating the pan since most of it was drained before) will add a HUGE amount of flavour to to onions and jalapenos. Cook until just softened, remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Once the macaroni pasta has cooked, drain and place into a 15″x10″ glass baking dish.
  6. Add the reserved jalapeno, onions and cooked bacon to the pasta and combine well.
  7. Make the cheese sauce according to instructions below and combine with the pasta in the baking dish. Make sure everything is coated in the cheese sauce.
  8. Use a spatula or a large spoon to spread the mac and cheese evenly in the baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining shredded cheese and then top that with the crushed crackers.
  10. Place in the oven on the broiler setting for about 15 minutes or until the top is golden.
  11. Once it has finished in the oven, serve right away! 🙂
    Cheese Sauce Instructions:
  12. In a sauce pot on medium heat, melt the butter or margarine.
  13. Add the reserved 1 tsp of bacon fat to the pot.
  14. While the butter/margarine is melting, in a small dish combine the flour with the spices and seasonings.
  15. Once melted, heat still on medium, add the flour mixture while whisking quickly for about 1 – 2 minutes.
  16. Pour the milk into the pot and turn the heat up to high to bring to a boil.
  17. Quickly whisk while it’s coming to a boil. The sauce will thicken up fast.
  18. Once the sauce thickens up add the cheese to the pot and turn the heat down to LOW.
  19. Use the whisk to combine the cheese sauce and turn off the heat.
  20. Add the sauce to the macaroni pasta as described above.
  • Category: Main