Comfort Food For The Soul - Southern Fried Ginger Blog at - 312959

Southern Fried Ginger

Comfort Food For The Soul 
Oct. 15, 2013 5:56 am 
Updated: Oct. 15, 2013 8:03 pm
In the Allrecipes Ambassador program this year I was asked to work on a recipe for a Holiday gathering using cheese.   Guess it is time to admit that I have had a lifetime love affair with cheese.  Whew, I feel better now and excited that I can experiment with cheesy goodness.
As I have gotten older, Holidays are all about spending time with family and friends.   It is the time to reconnect with loved ones and reminisce about the good old days.   As I thought about what food I would want to prepare for a Holiday gathering only one thing came to my mind…..Macaroni and Cheese.  The mere words send my mouth watering.   It is pure comfort for the soul and “make my tummy happy” food.   It is the food that reminds me of home and all the special meals that were lovingly prepared at our family get-togethers.
I truly believe my love for all things cheesy developed from my earliest memories of eating mac & cheese.  The first bite can make my eyes role and put a smile on my face.    As a college student with very little money and no cooking skills – I could still make myself a satisfying meal with that “little blue box”.     Through the years I have experimented with all types and flavors of mac & cheese - gooey American cheese, hot and spicy, 4-cheese, and even dabbled at making a healthier version when I have the craving, but, don’t want all those extra calories!
When I think of something special for a Holiday meal though, I wanted to make something rich & indulgent to give you that “I'm home again” feeling.   I thought of two of my husband’s favorite flavors…bacon & spicy!   
After experimenting a few times I came up with a recipe that was a big hit with my husband and a twist on a standard macaroni & cheese, but, still something I think would appeal to most people.   You can adapt the heat level to whatever you like depending on how much jalapeno you add & if you include the ribs or seeds.   If you like it mild I would remove both, but, if you like it spicy – leave them in.    I did not use the seeds or ribs in my version because I wanted more of the flavor of the jalapeno instead of the actual “heat” from the pepper.  One thing I found that worked great was to sauté the jalapeno in the butter before adding the flour to make the roux.   This softened the peppers and released the oils into the butter.  The flavor also steeped into the milk mixture which gave a nice essence of the jalapeno and a compliment to the bacon without being too spicy.
The true star of this dish though was the cheese.  I used extra sharp cheddar and 4 Cheese Mexican.  The cheddar gave me the sharp bite and richness I love and the 4 cheese Mexican melted beautifully and added a whole other level of flavor.   I have found using quality cheese and a mixture of cheeses is what can send your mac & cheese over the top. Experiment with flavors you enjoy and it will be wonderful!
Below is my link to the recipe on Allrecipes and in the Sargento Digital Cookbook on the Sargento website.  If you have a cheese addiction like I do, you will love the Sargento digital cookbook.<<

Decadent, cheesy, & yummy!

I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with  Products received from Sargento are only used for experienced-based reviews on The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Beckie Bergeron.
Oct. 15, 2013 6:10 am
Great looking recipe. I don't know how I missed this the first go around but I've saved it now. Thank you.
Oct. 15, 2013 6:16 am
Thanks, Brian. It is pretty rich, but, I think you want that from mac & cheese!
Oct. 15, 2013 5:29 pm
My boys are gonna love that recipe... Maybe then they'll come visit more often! When they were growing up thier diet consisted of a lot of the little blue box!
Oct. 15, 2013 8:03 pm
Terry - my husband loves my homeade mac and cheese, but, I have to admit there are a few of those boxes still in my pantry. Every once in while he craves that flavor from his bachelor days so I have to keep a stash for him.
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About Me
Growing up I wasn't allowed to do too much cooking in the kitchen. By the time I was out on my own I realized I didn't know how to cook and considered it a chore. Every time I had a dinner party - what should have been fun turned into a stressful event for me. I followed recipes, but, it seemed they never turned out. When I got married , I learned my husband is one of those cooks who never follows a recipe and just seems to "know" what goes together and it turns out wonderful. After watching him, watching all those cooking shows, and this site I suddenly discovered what used to be a chore was now something I loved to do. I found a style of my own and discovered it really is ok to put your own spin on a recipe. My husband used to do most of the cooking and now I cook every night and love it!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook just about everything. Probably my favorite things though are pasta (so versatile) and desserts.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Most of our family food traditions revolved around holidays. We always had enough food to feed an army and there was always extra plates set out for friends or coworkers that couldn't be with family. I try to continue that tradition today.
My cooking triumphs
I love to bake - particularly cakes! It's very rewarding when someone takes their first bite of something you made and has the "Oh, yum" face! My cooking triumph was being able to master my Father's favorite cake his Mother used to make him - a Lane cake. I now try to make that for him on Christmas or his birthday.
My cooking tragedies
Probably my biggest problem is with red meat. I used to be a vegetarian, so, trying to cook something very basic like a steak or even a hamburger is very difficult for me. I seem to always overcook them and then they are dry, dry, dry. For now - that may have to stay my husband's job!
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