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You can really use any kind of hot peppers that you like for this, for extreme spice add in another jalapeño! Prep time does not include boiling the macaroni.
- 1 lb elbow macaroni (cooked ONLY to barely firm-tender and drained)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (or to taste)
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 1⁄3 cup butter
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 4 cups half-and-half cream
- cayenne pepper (or use black pepper)
- 1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes (very well drained, then chopped)
- 1 1⁄2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 1⁄2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 1⁄3 cups grated parmesan cheese
- Set oven to 375°F (set oven rack to second-lowest position).
- Butter a 13x9-inch baking pan.
- In a large saucepan melt 1/3 cup butter, add in the onions, garlic, diced jalapeño pepper, coriander and cumin; stirring until the onions are tender (about 5 minutes).
- Add in flour and stir for 2 minutes with a wooden spoon.
- Slowly add in the half and half cream whisking continuously until the mixture boils and thickens.
- Add in cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
- Add in chopped tomatoes and simmer for about 3 minutes (do not add in the cheese, add it in when when mixing in the bowl).
- In a large bowl mix together the cooked macaroni and tomato mixture, then stir in both cheeses; mix well to combine.
- Transfer to prepared casserole dish.
- In a small bowl mix together the fresh bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, then sprinkle over the macaroni mixture in the baking pan.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly.