Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounce package uncooked elbow macaroni
- 4 tbsp. butter, divided
- 12 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 12 ounces grated pepper jack cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 8 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the inside of a 13x9 inch baking dish. Heat a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and boil until just tender, stirring occasionally. Drain the macaroni well.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels. Once cooled, chop the bacon, and set aside.
Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook about 5 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the flour, mustard, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until smooth and slightly thickened, whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and add the pepper jack and parsley. Stir until the cheese is melted, then stir in the macaroni and the bacon.
Spoon the macaroni and cheese into the prepared dish. Melt the remaining 2 tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook about 3 minutes until browned, stirring frequently. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake about 20 minutes until the pasta is heated through and golden brown. Serve the macaroni and cheese immediately.