Jalapeno and Chorizo Macaroni and Cheese

Jalapeños are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. Jalapeños have a balanced combination of flavor and heat. The demand for these have caused breeders to develop a broad range of varieties.

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  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 lb Spanish-style chorizo sausage, finely diced
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 c milk
  • 2 c shredded pepperjack cheese
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • pinch fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 c finely diced jalapeno
  • 1/4 c panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 t extra virgin olive oil
  • garnish: fresh sliced jalapeno

Heat oven to 350F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Heat a large saute pan over high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring often, until sausage is browned. Drain fat and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter with the flour over medium heat, whisking until bubbly. Cook 2 minutes to cook the flour and make a roux. Slowly whisk in the the milk. Heat, stirring constantly, a minute or two until quite warm. Reduce heat to medium low and add both cheeses, salt, Dijon, and pepper. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the jalapeno and chorizo and set aside

Cook the macaroni to al dente according to package directions in salted water. Drain and add to the cheese sauce. Transfer to a 2-qt baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the macaroni. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes until bubbly. Garnish with sliced jalapenos. Yield: 6-8 servings.

 

Adapted from ericasrecipes.com