Baked Mac & Cheddar Cheese with Candied Jalapenos

Serves:  4
Ingredients:
  • 2 strips uncured bacon; diced
  • 8 ounces macaroni
  • 5 tablespoons Kerrygold Garlic & Herb Butter, divided
  • (Plus extra for buttering breadcrumbs)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup thick cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cups grated Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Kerrygold Blarney Castle Cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Kerrygold Skellig Cheese
  • 1/3 cup buttered breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 scallion (green onion) sliced into thin rings
  • 2 jalapenos; sliced into thin rings (seed shaken out)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
Directions:

Heat oven to 375  degrees Fahrenheit.

Fry bacon until almost crisp; transfer to a paper towel to drain off fat.

Boil macaroni according to packet directions for al dente pasta (soft but still firm to the bite); drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter then whisk in flour. 

Gradually pour milk and then cream into butter. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce heat. Stir in cheese, a handful at a time (do NOT let boil). Remove from heat when all cheese has melted. Add macaroni to cheese mixture along with bacon; stir well to coat macaroni. Transfer to a 1-1/2 quart baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small skillet and add oil. When hot, add sliced jalapenos and cook on low for 20 minutes until candied. After 10 minutes and before the macaroni and cheese is to be removed from oven, scatter with buttered breadcrumbs, orange zest, candied jalapenos and scallions.

*to butter breadcrumbs, heat butter in a small skillet then add breadcrumbs and sate until lightly golden (stirring occasionally).

 

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