I frequent a small cafe in my little suburb and one of the side dishes that is ALWAYS sold out by 1 PM is the Mac and Cheese. They make it from scratch and toss in one or several toppings of your choice right before it's served. The few times I've been able to get some before it sells out? DELICIOUS. Oh, there's nothing like freshly made Mac and Cheese to soothe my soul.
My favorite mix-in is diced, raw, jalapenos. It might sound too spicy but it's not, I promise! Fresh jalapenos (not pickled) are crunchy and crisp and provide just the right amount of ZING! if you make certain to slice out the membrane and seeds (where most of the heat is.)
I made some of my own last night with a simple cheese sauce (butter, flour, salt, pepper, milk, cheese), that took me about ten minutes to make, and some spiral pasta I found in the back of the pantry. It was AMAZING. (Way better than the blue box, and it took the same amount of time and stirring.) I added cheese on top of my cheese sauce, and this is why I'm not sharing the cheese sauce recipe I used; not cheesey enough. (Though adding cheese on top did make it juuuuuust right.)
The jalapenos were the perfect complement to sharp cheddar and I ate it all again for lunch today. FABULOUS. I think this would make a super fun thing for a party: get the pasta boiled and cheese sauce ready, then toss with custom extras for each guest.
Who else is a Mac and Cheese connoisseur? Any other macaroni mix-ins that might change my life?
(Photo from: me)