Spicy Baked Macaroni and Cheese




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Why is macaroni and cheese so good? It might have something to do with the opioids that cheese releases when it melts, but it might also be that it's really tasty.

Sure, you could just buy a box, and stir in that pouch of cheese food product goo, but wouldn't you rather have something delicious? Gooey and cheesey, this has got a little kick, but you can cut down the amount of peppers (or leave them out) if it's too much for you.

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Step 1: You'll Need. . .

- large pot
- medium heavy bottomed pot
- small bowl
- whisk
- sieve
- baking or casserole dish
- large spoon (wooden or other)

- .5 pound elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups whole milk (can be substituted for 2% or skim - if you're into that kind of thing)
- .25 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 large egg
- 12 ounces shredded cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar and some jack), plus more for topping
- 1 teaspoon salt
- fresh black pepper
- .25 cup roasted jalepeno (see below)
- .25 roasted red pepper (see below)
- about .75 cup of breadcrumbs (day old bread, crackers, or a few slices of toast ground in a food processor or crushed inside a plastic bag work well for this)

Step 2: Making Roasted Peppers (Jalepeno And/or Red)

- kitchen tongs
- medium glass bowl
- plastic wrap
- for method 1, a cookie sheet is needed

- 1 smallish red pepper
- 2 jalepeno peppers
- vegetable oil to coat (oil in a spray can can be used since it's easier to control)

1. Wash peppers and dry well
2. Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with oil, turning to coat (alternately, toss to coat with oil)
3. Slide under the broiler until the skin is blistered and blackened (peppers can also be placed over an open gas flame until the skin is blistered and black)
4. Using tongs, transfer peppers to bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap
5. Allow to steam for around 5 minutes
6. Rinse under cool water, peeling off the skin. It should release easily
7. For use, remove stems and seeds and chop. These also are great blended with some oil and spices as a dip, or blended with oil and basil over pasta.

Step 3: Making Cheese Sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. In a medium pot, melt butter
3. Whisk in the flour, moving constantly for about 5 minutes, making sure there are no lumps
4. Stir in milk and onion, and simmer for ten minutes. It should thicken slightly
5. Beat the egg in the small bowl and add in a half cup of the milk mixture, stirring to temper the egg and prevent it from curdling when added back to the mixture
6. Add the egg and milk mixture back to the pot and stir well
7. Add 3/4 of the cheese, stir to combine and remove from heat.

Step 4: Cook the Pasta

Here's the easy part:
1. Fill a large pot with salted water
2. Bring to a boil
3. Add pasta and cook until tender but al dente
4. Drain and return to the pot

Step 5: Mix It All Up

1. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta
2. Stir in salt, pepper, and roasted peppers
3. Pour into baking or casserole dish
4. Top with remaining cheese and bread crumbs (or cracker crumbs)
5. Bake for 30 minutes
6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for five minutes before serving (if you can wait that long)
7. Enjoy!

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      13 Discussions


      6 years ago

      I just made this with whatever shredded cheese I had left in my fridge... Which turned out to be a Mexican four cheese blend and an Italian six cheese blend. I didn't have any peppers. :( Turned out better than the first (and only other) time I have attempted mac and cheese. :)


      10 years ago on Introduction

      Wow! I made this last night, just a coincidence. Its nice to see someone who's not scared to actually make it from scratch. Yours is a good recipe, I make it it lots of different ways. It doesn't matter its always a comfort food.

      1 reply

      OH MY GOD! why did you post this!?! you made me so hungry lol =P...

      and now i need to go to the supermarket tomorrow to try this amazing looking recipe (and very nice ible)

      1 reply

      10 years ago on Introduction

      Which kind of cheeses can I use in this recipe? I don't know if they are called this way in USA, but can I use provolone, parmesão ,muzzarela, or gorgonzola cheese? They are Italian cheeses, which are commonly used here in Brazil.

      3 replies

      That's just what they're called here too - so no worries. I would probably use the provolone for most of the cheese, and then depending on how strongly flavored it is, I might add in some of the parmesan and maybe even a little gorgonzola (I would consider leaving out the peppers though if I used any type of bleu cheese). A little of the mozzarella may also be good added in, but I wouldn't use it as the base for the cheese sauce, since it might make it a bit stringy. I hope that helps some.

      Yeah, I thought the same about the gorgonzola cheese, it would be horrible prepared only with this cheese. The base idea is to join your reciple with a "Four cheese" macaroni reciple we use in here. Besides that, I didn't understand the cheese you used to make your macaroni. I don't use to read much recipes in English, so I'm not familiar with some food names.

      Cheddar is a hard yellow (sometimes white as well) cheese. It is sold as "medium," "mild," "sharp," "extra sharp," and maybe others as well. It's kind of similar to American Cheese, but it's easier to grate, usually. I think the provolone should do fine though, the only issue might be that it won't have as strong of a cheesy flavor.

      The heat of capsaicin in the peppers is moderated by the cheese, which contains casein (from milk), a lipophilic (fat-loving) substance that surrounds and washes away the fatty capsaicin molecules! I'd guess the peppers add some needed nutrition (as well as flavor) to a not-very-healthy dinner. Mac-n-cheese became popular in America as a really cheap, stomach filling food. But if you don't add tomatoey goodness to pasta, peppers are a good substitute.


      10 years ago on Introduction

      Looks tasty. In germany we eat pasta usually with tomato sauce, but i guess cheese makes sense too. Thanks ;).

      1 reply

      Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

      Thanks! It really is rather good. I tend to prefer tomato sauce also, but when it's really cold, this is particularly comforting.