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Courtesy of: Chris Nagy, Firefighter, Shaker Heights Fire Department
Modified version of the Food Network’s Creamy Jalapeno Popper Macaroni & Cheese:
- 1 pound elbow macaroni or corkscrew noodles
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 2 jalapenos chopped
- 2.5 cups half-and-half
- 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 ounces sharp chedder
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- ½ cup pickled jalapenos, chopped
- 1/3 cup pickled jalapeno juice
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup water
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
- Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until it is al dente, strain and set aside.
- Melt half of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the chopped jalapenos to the saucepan, toss to coat and cook until softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to a small bowl and reserve.
- Wipe out saucepan and add the half and half. Cook over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer, continue simmering until the half and half is reduced to 1.5 cups. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Whisk in the Chedder and Gruyere until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Add the macaroni and 1 cup water to the cheese and stir, gently fold in the reserved jalapenos, pickled jalapenos and the pickled jalapeno juice. Poor into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
- Melt the rest of the butter and toss with the panko bread crumbs and sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese.
- Bake until bubbly and browned on top, about 10 minutes.