I cannot wait for this "three-day" weekend coming up. It is not an official university holiday, but originally my sister was planning to come into town (Houston) for the All-Star game with her sports-fanatic hubby. So when planning my schedule this semester- I did not schedule class or clients-- because I figured I would be in Houston all weekend. Well it turns out that they were not able to get tickets to the game like they planned and will not be coming to Houston this weekend. But since I already cleared my schedule (I think saying just kidding to my class...you have class,..is just cruel)-- so I am viewing this as a positive-- I get a three day weekend to both rest and catch up on some long over due "To-Do" items.
Onto food...I love all things jalapeno popper, the combination of jalapenos and cream cheese taste awesome! Truth be told, I really just love jalapenos and cream cheese separately- but whomever thought of putting them together was sheer genius. I probably would have served jalapeno poppers at my wedding if I did not think I would get a few looks about the level of classiness of these things and wonder about how this fit into my Indian Cuisine theme. Do not fret- after the wedding- when I felt I had some wiggle room in what I ate-- I may have ate some :) And by some I mean a bag of those frozen jalapeno poppers you can purchase at the grocery store :)
Lately, in my search for recipes on Pinterest or just random on-line searches, I have seen creative food bloggers make recipe renditions of the jalapeno poppers in other foodie forms: two of which were jalapeno popper wontons and jalapeno popper mac n' cheese. Both of which I made :) The second of which I am sharing with you today. Mmmmmm...::sigh of happy tummy::...did I love this mac n' cheese. I love mac n' cheese in general, so I am not sure it's hard to convince me on the deliciousness of mac n' cheese but this recipe was truly fantastic. It was quick to make and fun to eat :) Can't beat that combination. You will not be sorry if you make this recipe!
12-16 oz. of uncooked elbow macaroni
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. garlic
1 c. milk or buttermilk (I used buttermilk)
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
4 oz. can of sliced jalapeno (reserving 3 tbsp. of liquid)
4 oz. can diced green chiles (drained)
1 1/4 c. shredded pepper jack cheese
In a large pot, over medium heat cook pasta according to package directions- approximately 7-8 minutes until al dente. Then drain excess water and run cold water through pasta to prevent sticking. Return to large pot.
You can prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking. In a medium sauce pot, heat olive oil, over medium heat. Then saute garlic, for 1-2 minutes, until slightly browned and fragrant. Then add in milk, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Using a whisk, stir the the ingredients until a smooth sauce forms. Then turn down to low heat, and stir in sour cream. Next, add the 3 tbsp. of jalapeno "juice" (this will add a nice distinct jalapeno flavor to the sauce), along with diced jalapenos and chiles-- stir well. **if desired salt can be added (though I do not think it is needed)**
Once sauce is made, pour the sauce over the pasta and combine well by stirring (do this while the pot is over lowest heat). Finally add the shredded pepper jack cheese and stir to melt cheese. The heat from the cooked pasta and sauce should be enough to melt the cheese (I place the pasta over low heat-- to keep it warm). Serve hot and best eaten the day. I garnished with crushed red peppers because I like a bit of spice.
I re-heated the mac n' cheese the next day and ate some--still delicious. So I do not think it's a must to eat it the same day.