I’m totally, utterly and irrevocably obsessed with jalapeños.
While in Texas for the first time last year, I nearly pissed myself from excitement at every trip to a restaurant. Jalapeño ranch on jalapeño chicken burritos, Jamaican jerk Tex-Mex tacos with jalapeños and cilantro?! I couldn’t believe it either. My first encounter with Whataburger went something like, “You can put grilled jalapeños on my burger? What the what?!” They’re kind of a big deal.
I love somewhat spicy food (confession: I talk hard but I can only do medium-warm Thai and Indian food, so I’m a total poser) and have seemingly passed this onto my No-Longer-So-Little-Little. My 14 year old buddy not only loves jalapeños like his mom, but he has me putting serrano peppers in his eggs, cayenne pepper in all of his spaghetti, cilantro in the salad, and our tacos are the Tex-Mexiest thing a Yankee has likely ever conceived of.
Like every person in the universe with a stomach, I’m trying to make magic with macaroni these days while still being:
I took a cue from a recent dinner we had with friends at a delicious Smokehouse Barbecue restaurant where I had the most fabulous Cajun Mac n’ Cheese and tried to replicate it-minus the andouille sausage, roasted red peppers and some other fancy cheeses (Velveeta was on sale for only $3.99 a brick, yo!).
Big hit! It has a bite, but doesn’t leave teeth marks:
Christy’s Cajun Mac & Cheese
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1/2 32 oz. loaf Velveeta
2 jalapeños, finely diced
1 serrano pepper, finely diced
A few slivers of butter (keep it real!)
Boil your macaroni until al dente. No mush!
Once done per instructions (10 min?), drain and return to pan.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.Cube Velveeta and evenly distribute for full meltiness.
Add peppers and butter, stir until cheese is mostly melted, then transfer to casserole dish.
Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning and bake for 15 min. Fin!
Lemme know if you think of other things to add. Bonus points for photos of your creations! Tag Sweatpants & Coffee on Instagram in your pics.