This recipe is inspired by a dish I tried at Bennett’s Barbecue in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I tried their spicy mac and cheese and I really liked it, and since I detected pepper jack cheese in it I decided to come home and try to make my own version.
Pepper Jack Mac And Cheese Recipe
- 1 box macaroni, prepared according to package directions
- 2 Tbsp salted butter
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ tsp each salt and black pepper
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Prepare the roux for the béchamel sauce. Over medium high heat, mix butter and flour, stirring constantly until butter has melted and the mixture has turned slightly golden.
- Slowly add 2 cups milk to the roux, stirring constantly. (You may need to add a bit more milk if the mixture becomes too thick.) You want the consistency to be about like a gravy. Add salt and pepper. And remove from heat.
- Add ½ cup sour cream and whisk to incorporate.
- Add cheeses.
- Whisk slowly until cheese is fully blended into the béchamel sauce.
- Cheese sauce should be a nice, thick consistency as seen above. But if it gets too thick you can add a little more milk that has been heated slightly. (Don’t use cold milk or the cheese could separate and make the sauce like a greasy oil slick!)
- Pour drained macaroni into a large heat-resistant bowl.
- Add cheese sauce to macaroni and stir to blend well.
This recipe makes enough to easily serve about 8-12 people as a side dish. It made enough for lunch for my kids (I have 6 who can eat solid food right now!) and they went nuts for it. Truth be told, I had a bowl, too! I think there would have been enough for my husband, too, but he’s always hated macaroni and cheese and I can’t get him to try it.
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