Pancetta Jalapeno Mac n Cheese

I have made many a Mac n Cheese (Gruyere Broccoli, Almost Fire Version, Jalapeno Bacon) and it is probably the cornerstone of my culinary career.  For Easter, it was requested that I make mac n cheese and I wanted to use the basic foundation and switch it up a bit so I added jalapeno which is an old and common friend, and introduced a new ingredient in pancetta.

I went to Penn Mac where many of our ingredients come from and got colby for it’s color, taste, and price.  I also got pancetta which is a little costly but is spread across a whole tray that feeds a dozen or more people.  I have never used pancetta before, but Eileen used it before in a tomato vodka sauce.  I prepped the ingredients by shredding the cheese and cubing the pancetta.

Those are pieces of the pepper seasoning in the pancetta, not dirt.  I then browned the pancetta until it was fairly crisp and added it to the mixture that was otherwise ready to head to the casserole dish.

After mixing everything together, I poured the mixture in a casserole dish and covered about a third in fresh chopped jalapenos then another layer of cheese.

Then bake at the magical temp of 350 for about 20-30 minutes.  I refrigerated this for a day or two and then baked so I went more toward the 30 minutes than the 20.  It was wonderful and I definitely went for the jalapeno side!

I didn’t write up a specific recipe for this since it is the same foundation as the other versions with a few extra specialties.  Check those out and be creative with your own tastes!


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