Spicy Corn and Bacon 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.
- 2 ears corn on the cob, husks removed
- 1 pound fusilli
- 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 habanero, seeded, deveined, and finely minced
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Sargento Pepper Jack cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Sargento Sharp Cheddar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
- 1/4 cup panko crumbs
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Preheat the broiler and and place oven rack 5½ inches from heat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and broil corn for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Let cool and cut kernels off of the cob.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Cook until the bacon is crispy, drain a paper towel lined plate. Remove bacon grease, leaving 1 Tablespoon in pan. Add onion, pepper, and habanero. Cook until soft and lightly browned. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Slowly whisk in milk and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Add corn, onion and pepper mixture, and reserved bacon. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to combine. Pour into a 9×13 casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Or individual ramekins.
- Mix together tortilla crumbs, panko, melted butter and cilantro. Sprinkle over pasta and bake in a 400 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.