So, you’ll recall I received the Influenster Feast Vox Box recently and have been having a great time with it.
Tis the season for comfort food and I’m so grateful that Influenster gave me the opportunity to dust off an old favorite recipe and give it a bit of an exciting update! For this recipe, I used not one, but two of my items found in the box. My French’s Crispy Jalapeños and my Country Crock Buttery Sticks.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
1 box (1 pound) cavatappi (for this particular night I had to use elbow, either works)
3 tablespoon Country Crock Unsalted Butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 slices of american cheese
1 cup French’s Crispy Jalapeños
1 Bottle of wine (your choice)
Remember to gather all the measuring tools and bowls you’ll need. I’m a big fan of making sure you have what you need on hand rather than panicking and not being able to find something… like I did… while making this.
Also, get yourself a judgmental cat. Burger plays this role perfectly every time I am in the kitchen.
Let’s get cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large (3-quart or bigger) broiler-safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil and open the bottle of wine.
- Pour yourself a nice glass of wine and get the party started. Because cooking with wine is better. Julie Child wouldn’t lie about that, would she? No.
- Cook the cavatappi.
- While that’s happening, in a medium size saucepan, melt the butter.
- Whisk in flour until smooth and, in a thin stream, add in milk.
- Stir in salt and pepper and bring to a boil on a medium-high heat.
- Reduce to a simmer for a couple minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together your shredded cheese.
- Remove milk mixture from the heat and slowly stir in the cheese mix along with the jalapeños.
- In pasta pot combine the cooked noodles and cheese.
- Pour half into the prepared baking dish and place a layer of your American cheese slices
- Pour in the second half of the noodle/cheese mix and add another layer of American cheese. Want to use more than 8 slices? Go for it, this is a no judgment zone. Same with the jalapeños, add more to taste, if you like spicy, go for it, add more.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Increase temperature to broil for three minutes, until the top is slightly browned.
- Cool slightly and serve.
- Finish the bottle of wine. You’ve done a great job! Proud of you.
SIDE NOTE: I did try topping my concoction with some jalapeños but the broil setting burnt them and I ended up scraping them off.
Let me know what you think! Like I said, I modified a recipe I normally use to fit in the Crispy Jalapeños, there’s a good chance I’ll post my original at some point when I can make it again. This is actually the first time I’ve made homemade mac and cheese in years and it was delicious. Problem is, I live alone so I end up eating it all on my own and I have a feeling my arteries aren’t too happy with me.
That’s where the wine comes in handy.
Happy cooking all!
Josh’s Note: “I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.”