Jalapeño and Tomato Macaroni & Cheese

Jalapeño and Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

An occasional craving for comfort food is one that most of us share when stresses or anxieties abound, an impulse to revisit times or places of simplicity and security, no matter how real or perceived our memories. It's a pleasure of mine to indulge my loved ones with kitchen comfort at those times, not to mention that fussing with pots, pans and food can be a welcome relief to myself when others around me are feeling strains. Into these dishes I can pour the love and care that aren't always easy to express in words.

One of my husband's favorite comfort foods — and one shared by many others — is a big helping of macaroni and cheese. In his case, he remembers the Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese that his father baked with a can of crushed tomatoes. Of course, now that he's eating out of my kitchen he gets my own brand of comfort food, meaning fresh quality ingredients assembled by hand and with a little spicy touch of my own tossed in. I'm happy to say that a big helping of warm and creamy homemade jalapeño and tomato mac'n'cheese did just the comfort trick for him while giving him a taste of something new at the same time. After all, moving forward is important even when we want to indulge our nostalgic feelings.

Jalapeño and Tomato Macaroni & CheeseJalapeño and Tomato Macaroni & Cheese
Recipe by
Published on June 13, 2011

A classic comfort food with an extra loving homemade touch

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 to 55 minutes

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  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 lb (225 g) uncooked macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 16 oz (450 g) Cheddar, Colby or Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and cut into thin rounds
  • Chop the tomatoes and place in a fine sieve to drain the juices, tossing occasionally. Meanwhile, combine the bread crumbs and cornmeal with the melted butter and set aside.

  • Cook the macaroni to al dente in a large saucepan according to instructions on the package. Drain and return to the saucepan. Add the remaining butter.

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, mustard, salt and black pepper. Add 3/4 of the cheese and combine.

  • Stir the cheese mixture into the macaroni and butter over medium heat. Keep stirring for 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens and is hot and bubbling. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes and jalapeños.

  • Preheat an oven to 350°. Pour the macaroni into a lightly greased 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese, followed by the bread crumb and cornmeal mixture. Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes or until the bread crumbs and cornmeal are browned.

  • Remove from heat and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Jalapeño and Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

Other great mac'n'cheese recipes from Lisa's Kitchen:
Classic Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Paneer Cheese
Greek Macaroni & Cheese

On the top of the reading stack: Sukham Ayu: Cooking at Home With Ayurvedic Insights

Audio Accompaniment: rustling leaves


Cilantro said...

I am not a big fan of the readymade Mac & Cheese. I like them to be spicy and when I make for my daughter, I add loads of pepper in mine. Your recipe sounds spicy and I will try it out soon.

Ruth Daniels said...

I do hope you feel better soon. The Mac 'n Cheese is bound to help. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. It's always a treat when you do.

Unknown said...

Love that nice twist, makes it adult mac and cheese with a kick :)

KrithisKitchen said...

Mac n Cheese... Pure Bliss...

Event: Healing Foods - Banana

Priya Suresh said...

So cheesy and fabulous...delicious mac & cheese..

Toni said...

That looks amazing! I love spicing up old stand bys like mac and cheese with something new and different. Love the additiion of the cornmeal!

The Food Hunter said...

Kick it up a notch! I love it.

Johanna GGG said...

Love the idea of tomatoes and a bit of spice in the old mac and cheese - especially if you can make an old favourite taste even better - I will find myself making a comfort food and finding it is not quite like the food I remember because I have changed in my approach to food

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Lovely comfort food Lisa and I am impressed. I fall back on something simple like a baked potato when I am ill or sometimes just toast. Hope you are feeling better now x

Anonymous said...

Wow how scrumptious! I am the biggest Mac n' cheese fan and this just looks awesome! Love that you added jalapeno!


Miri said...

Mac and cheese with the addition of tomatoes and jalapenos is such a refreshing change to the usual bland version. Can I use milk instead of evaporated milk, since we get only sweetened eveaporated milk here?

Lisa Turner said...

Hi Miri;

Yes, milk would work fine. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Best wishes, Lisa

Suzanne said...

Awesome. Have always been on the scout for THE mac-n-cheese. Will definitely try this recipe on a rainy weekend.