splurge day. [bacon & jalapeño mac & cheese]
Mac and cheese can do no wrong…especially when bacon is involved. I think we can all agree on that. The subtle kick of the jalapeno and the saltiness of the bacon in this dish provide a nice balance of flavors. This mac and cheese is pretty rich, so it’s a great recipe to make on your splurge day. :)
bacon & jalapeño mac & cheese
- 1 bag (16 oz.) Trader Joe's fusilli
- 8 tbsp. (1 stick) salted butter
- 7 tbsp. flour
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups fat-free milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1 cup Jarlsberg, grated
- 1 cup Gruyère, grated
- 2-4 tsp. dry white wine, plus more or less to taste and desired consistency
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 jalapeños, seeded, de-veined and diced
- 1 lb. bacon, cut into bite-size pieces then cooked
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add fusilli and cook according to package directions. Strain pasta then return to large pot.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter and flour over medium heat until bubbly and thick, but not browned, about 2-3 minutes. Add whipping cream and milk. Whisking constantly, let mixture thicken, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add cheeses, salt and pepper, and continue stirring. After sauce is smooth and cheese is melted, stir in wine. Pour ¾ of the cheese sauce (or less) into pot of pasta and stir together. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place bacon pieces in pan and cook until crispy. Remove bacon from skillet and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Add bacon pieces and diced jalapeno to mac and cheese and mix.
- Top macaroni with scallions or chives, if desired. Serve hot.