Creamy jalapeño popper mac & cheese is a match made in heaven
Normally, when I get really excited about a one-pot meal it's because it's something I can serve my whole family for dinner, but this time is different. This time I'm over the moon about a one dish recipe that I intend to make just for the mister and me. It's a jalapeño popper macaroni and cheese recipe that I swear must have been crafted especially for the two of us because he goes gaga for jalapeño poppers and I flip for good mac and cheese. I mean, this is a match made in heaven as far as we are concerned. We should have served this at our wedding, but I didn't know it existed at the time.
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I imagine that the dish came about as one handsome gent carrying jalapeño poppers bumped into a doe-eyed dame with a bowl full of mac and cheese. She probably said, "Hey, you just got your jalapeño poppers in my mac and cheese" and he responded, "You just got your mac and cheese all over my poppers." They both took a bite and agreed that the combination is heavenly and much off into the sunset together.
Creamy Jalapeño Popper Macaroni and Cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 jalapenos, 2 finely chopped and 1 thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
8 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded (about 3 cups)
3 ounces Gruyere, shredded (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup pickled jalapenos, finely chopped, and 1/3 cup pickled jalapeno juice
1/8 to1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Image via Food Network