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James Beck’s Habanero and Bacon Mac ‘N Cheese

James Beck’s Habanero and Bacon Mac ‘N Cheese
Wednesday, 21 September 2011


James Beck of eatmoreheat.com concocted this seriously hot take on mac ‘n cheese. Of course, for you wimpy Denny’s-loving mama’s boys out there, you can reduce the amount of pepper-bearing cheese materiel and substitute plain old cheese.


At a glance
Chile peppers
Cooking Method
Heat Level
New Mexico Green

6-10 Slices Cooked Bacon, Chopped
1 Tsp. Garlic
1/2 Cup Minced Onion
1 1/2 Sticks Butter
3 Cups Milk
1/2 Cup Flour
1 Tsp. Salt
2 Tsp. Black Pepper
2 Tsp. Green Chile Powder
3 Cups shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
3 Cups shredded Habanero Cheddar Cheese
3-6 New Mexican Chiles, Roasted, Chopped, Seeded and Rinsed
1 lb. Large Elbow Macaroni
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs


Cook the bacon, and set aside the bacon fat. Sauté the onion and garlic in that fat in a large skillet until the onion is tender. Heat the milk over medium heat in a sauce pan. While the milk is heating, add butter to the garlic and onion. When the butter is completely melted and begins to bubble, add the flour and whisk until well mixed. Pour the warm (not boiling) milk into the butter, whisk it until thick. Reduce this mixture to low heat and add the salt, black pepper, and green chile powder. Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes to marry the flavors.

Boil the macaroni until al dente. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Add 3 cups of habanero cheddar, 2 1/2 cups of pepper jack cheese, and the chopped New Mexico chiles to the sauce. Mix this well and remove it from the heat.

Spray a 9×13-inch casserole pan with cooking spray. Place the drained pasta in the pan, then pour the cheese sauce over the top. If the cheese sauce is too thick, mix it gently with a whisk. Sprinkle the pasta mix with the bread crumbs, bacon pieces, and remaining 1/2 cup of pepper jack cheese. Bake it until brown and bubbling (approximately 30 minutes).


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