While many are making New Year's resolutions by eating healthy and committing to a race schedule for 2014, there is nothing wrong with throwing a little comfort food into the mix. For goodness sake, it's cold out there. We need something that makes us feel happy and warm. I've been making this dish since I invented it in 2011.
I got the idea from a friend who makes this really yummy jalapeño and corn dip and thought, hmmm...this could be made into a mac-n-cheese. If you want to make it "healthier", feel free to use any other type of pasta such as whole wheat, quinoa pasta, brown rice pasta, gluten-free pasta-and you could always omit the bread crumbs or use whole wheat. Honestly, I've done this a few times and it tastes just as delicious. It's all about the creaminess from the cheese sauce, the sweetness from the corn, and the spiciness from the jalpenos.
Keep all of these items in your pantry/freezer/fridge, and it can easily be made when you can't think of anything else to make. Serve it with a salad or if you need meat, make the mac-n-cheese your side dish. Enjoy!
- 1 box of ziti pasta
- 4 tbs or half a stick of butter
- 4 tbs of flour
- 2 cups of milk (skim is fine, if you would like)
- 1 and a half cups of shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup of colby cheese
- 2 cups of shoe peg corn
- 1/2 cup of chopped jalapeno (pickled-Mt. Olive)
- salt and pepper to taste
- bread crumbs (mine were from bread that I food processed and froze for later use)
- 1 tbs of butter
Preheat oven to 375
Bring a medium to large pot to a boil and follow the instructions on the box for the ziti. However, drain just before al dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven.
Once drained, use the same pot and on medium heat, melt the butter and flour together. Whisk it into a roux. Make sure flour is cooked and the mixture appears yellow/brownish. Whisk in the milk.
Continue to whisk until thickens to a gravy consistency. Then add the grated cheese and cooked ziti. Finally, add the corn and drained jalapeños. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and little pieces of butter over the breadcrumbs.
Place in the oven until melted and bubbly. Approximately 25-30 minutes.
Let sit for 5 minutes and serve.