Mac & Cheese with gouda and jalapenos

fourth of july

I hope everyone had a good Fourth of July and enjoyed the 3 day weekend. We went to a bbq and and we were asked to bring our favorite side dish so we decided to put a spin on an old Mac and cheese recipe we made a few years back for Thanksgiving dinner. We cut back on the amount of cheddar cheese and added gouda cheese and jalapenos and it turned out amazing! Here is what the finished product looked like:

1 (16-oz.) package elbow macaroni (I used mini shells this time)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (10-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
1 (10-oz.) block gouda, shredded and divided
1 jalapeno diced (optional)

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Keep warm.
2. Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Microwave milk on high for 2 minutes and gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in salt, black and red pepper and jalapenos and gradually add shredded cheese (add all the cheese but reserve one cup to sprinkle over the top), whisking constantly.
3. Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased baking dish; pour cheese mixture over pasta and top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
4. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe was originally from Southern Living Magazine February 2007 issue. We cut back on the amount of cheddar cheese since we decided to add gouda but you could make this with any combination of cheese you like. I hope you enjoy! XOXO -Brittany

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