I spent 3 days cooking for a 4th of July party, which ended up being a surprise early-birthday party for me. This is one of the dishes I made. It was a success and is probably the most requested dish when we have fun family get-togethers. I hope you enjoy it as much as everyone else did! PS: I got this on a website called www.betterrecipes.com and just did a few minor tweeks on it.
1Cook and crumble bacon and set aside. In a large bowl, combine grated cheeses and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the milk very slowly to avoid lumps. Cook until thickened, 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. (Depending on how saucy you want it will depend on your flour/butter/milk ratio. I like mine saucier!) Remove from heat, then season with salt, pepper, minced garlic, jalapeno juice and chopped jalapenos. Stir in about 1/3 of the grated cheeses until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside. Cook pasta until very al dente. Drain the water and return to the pot. Add the cheese sauce and stir until well combined, then set aside. Place 1/2 of the pasta in a 9 X 13 baking dish. Top with the cream cheese cubes. Top with 1/2 of the remaining grated cheeses. Pour the remaining pasta over cheese layer and top with the last of the cheese. Melt the 4 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the bread crumbs and stir to evenly cover the bottom of the skillet. Remove from heat and stir in the crumbled bacon. Sprinkle topping evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees, for 40-45 minutes, or until the macaroni and cheese is bubbly and hot and the top is golden brown. If the top browns too quickly, tent the baking dish with foil. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Note: Do NOT use preshredded cheese as it contains an anti-caking ingredient and will give your sauce a grainy texture, not creamy and smooth.