web analytics

tex mex macaroni and cheese recipeI’ll freely admit that this is not the most gorgeous food item to be featured on this blog, but what it lacks in beauty, it absolutely makes up for in flavor. I baked off two of the ramekins earlier in the day to photograph for the blog, and when they came out of the oven, they were perfect. Piled super high, perfectly brown, oozey cheese – I pulled them out of the oven and burnt myself and dropped them. And well, they weren’t so pretty after that. But I had to share this recipe with you, because you would be missing out if I didn’t.

I made this mac and cheese to go along with our Easter ham and it was by far my favorite thing on the table. Smoky corn and bacon, and just a little bit of heat from the pepper jack cheese and habanero. My kids ate it and enjoyed it, so that should tell you something. This is my new go-to mac and cheese recipe.

This recipe is not hard by any means, but if you are short on time, you can buy grilled corn in the frozen section. The original recipe calls for poblanos and chorizo, but since I am on a Sargento Flavor Journey, I thought that I would try using habanero pepper instead. I also had just gotten some Applegate bacon and decided to use that instead of chorizo. I like the crunch that the bacon added and I think that it might have been too spicy if I stuck with chorizo. I am thrilled with how this recipe turned out. I found tortilla crumbs at Whole Foods, but if you can’t find them, just finely crush some corn chips, or pulse them in the food processor.

Mac and cheese tip – for the best flavor, use a mixture of cheeses. I find that if I only use one kind, the flavor sometimes falls flat. I try to always use at least two kinds, but three or four work well too!

spicy corn and bacon macaroni and cheese recipe2 ears corn on the cob, husks removed
1 pound fusilli
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 habanero, seeded, deveined, and finely minced
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Sargento Pepper Jack cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Sargento Extra Sharp Cheddar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
1/4 cup panko crumbs
3 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

oven roasted oven recipePreheat the broiler and and place oven rack 5 1/2 inches from heat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and broil corn for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Let cool and cut kernels off of the cob.

spicy corn and bacon macaroni and cheese recipeCook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Cook until the bacon is crispy, drain on a paper towel lined plate. Remove bacon grease, leaving 1 Tablespoon in pan. Add onion, pepper, and habanero.

spicy corn and bacon macaroni and cheese recipeCook until soft and lightly browned. Add reserved corn. Set aside.

spicy corn and bacon macaroni and cheese recipeMix together tortilla crumbs, panko, melted butter and cilantro.

spicy bacon and corn macaroni and cheese recipeNow you have all the pieces of this mac and cheese, it is time to move on to the cheese sauce.

how to make a rouxIn a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes, or until golden brown.

how to make bechamel sauceSlowly whisk in milk and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. It will be thick enough when it coats the back of the spoon.

spicy corn and bacon macaroni and cheese recipeRemove from heat and add cheese.

spicy corn and bacon macaroni and cheese recipeStir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
spicy bacon and corn macaroni and cheese recipeAdd corn, onion and pepper mixture, and reserved bacon. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to combine. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed, I almost always have to add more. Pour into a 9×13 casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Or individual ramekins (about 6).

spicy corn and bacon macaroni and cheese recipeSprinkle with tortilla and panko mixture. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Spicy Corn and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Spicy Corn and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 ears corn on the cob, husks removed
  • 1 pound fusilli
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 habanero, seeded, deveined, and finely minced
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Sargento Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Sargento Sharp Cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup panko crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler and and place oven rack 5 1/2 inches from heat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and broil corn for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Let cool and cut kernels off of the cob.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Cook until the bacon is crispy, drain a paper towel lined plate. Remove bacon grease, leaving 1 Tablespoon in pan. Add onion, pepper, and habanero. Cook until soft and lightly browned. Set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Slowly whisk in milk and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  5. Add corn, onion and pepper mixture, and reserved bacon. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to combine. Pour into a 9x13 casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Or individual ramekins.
  6. Mix together tortilla crumbs, panko, melted butter and cilantro. Sprinkle over pasta and bake in a 400 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
http://bakedbree.com/spicy-corn-and-bacon-macaroni-and-cheese

Adapted from Chris’s Tex Mex Mac and Cheese, Southern Living, January 2012.

**This post is a part of my ongoing collaboration with Sargento Cheese. All opinions are 100% my own.**

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

23 Responses to Spicy Corn and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

  1. What?? I think this looks beautiful, Bree! And I adore this flavor combo!! :) Sounds right up my alley.

    • bakedbree says:

      But it was so pretty when it came out of the oven! I am was so sad when I dropped it and it deflated and knocked half of the crumbs off. It happens.

  2. This looks amazing, Bree! I love the photographs. Mac and cheese is hard to make look appetizing but you did it. I love everything about it!

  3. I love anything with cheese and pasta.

  4. Tanya says:

    I love that you used fresh corn. It looks so tasty :) yum!

  5. Susan says:

    Just finished dinner and am absolutely stuffed but this recipe has me drooling!! Can’t wait to try it. Thank you!

  6. June G. says:

    I’ve had THAT moment! My oven was a complete mess! Your photos are beautiful:)

  7. Tieghan says:

    This looks so good and I love that you used corn!

  8. I love the addition of corn! Can’t wait for it to be in season; it’s one of my summertime staples!

  9. Holy goodness that looks incredible! I need some of this mac and cheese in my life! And I hope your hands are ok! I just burnt my fingers yesterday with baking too. :(

  10. JP says:

    Bree, this looks amazing! I am going to have to sneak this one in by renaming it because any dish containing the words “mac and cheese” or “pizza” is shunned at our house if not the original.
    This is a random question, but what kind of sheet trays do you use? I am in the market for new ones and need a suggestion. Thanks!

  11. Mary Lynne Reimold says:

    Every year at work we have a “Fall Fest” where we all bring in food. Every year there is a different theme. Last year was apples and this year is corn. I can’t wait to make this for our fall fest. I will let you know if I win!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>