So, I have to confess that I didn’t set out to create a gluten-free recipe … it just kind of happened.
I was shopping at Whole Foods recently and stumbled on the dried pasta section where I found a bag of corn pasta. What? Pasta made from corn? I consider myself a fairly seasoned cook, but I had never seen corn pasta before. Since I love all things corn, I grabbed a bag and threw it in my cart, thinking it would taste, well, like corn.
Once home, I did a bit of research on the Interwebz to learn more about corn pasta. Turns out corn pasta may or may not taste like corn; some brands have a stronger corn flavor that others. However, all corn pasta is gluten-free, and it is typically offered as an alternative to regular pasta. It is also the basis for my first gluten-free recipe here at Rhubarb and Honey.
Gluten-free corn pasta in hand, I started to think about an interesting sauce to serve with it. One of my favorite food combinations is corn and jalapeño. I once had a cold pasta salad that was made with a jalapeño cream sauce; it was delicious and the memory of that dish has stuck with me for years. Hmm, corn pasta and jalapeño cream sauce? I immediately thought it could work … and it did.
I hereby present to you my recipe for gluten-free jalapeño macaroni and cheese … cheesy, spicy, delicious … and husband-approved (The Chef is not a fan of whole wheat pasta so I was a bit leery serving him corn pasta, but he loved it). I loved it too and will be using corn pasta in many future recipes.
Do you follow a gluten-free diet? If so, I’d love for you to try this recipe and give me your feedback … and of course, I hope you love it too.
Gluten-Free Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese
- 12 ounces gluten-free corn elbow macaroni (see notes)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup chicken broth (see notes)
- 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, minced
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño pepper slices, minced
- 1 can green chilies, chopped
- 1 tablespoon jalapeño juice, from pickled jalapeño jar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Prepare corn pasta according to package directions. Drain; place in large bowl.
2. Heat whipping cream in a heavy saucepan over high heat. When cream is close to boiling, stir in sour cream. Reduce heat to medium.
3. Stir in chicken broth, fresh jalapeños, pickled jalapeños, green chilies, and jalapeño juice. Allow mixture to simmer.
4. In a small saucepan, melt butter then whisk in flour to make a roux. Whisk until mixture turns a pale gold.
5. Increase heat on cream mixture until almost boiling and then add roux. Whisk briskly until roux is incorporated.
6. Remove mixture from heat. Stir in cheeses until melted.
7. Stir cheese mixture into cooked corn pasta until fully incorporated. Serve.
Notes: I used Mrs. Leeper’s wheat-free, gluten-free, organic corn pasta in this recipe. Because corn pasta lacks gluten, it can fall apart more readily than pasta made from wheat. For that reason, it’s important to follow cooking directions carefully and to taste the pasta throughout the cooking process to ensure it does not overcook, as it can turn from “al dente” to mushy in only a minute.
Also, some commercial chicken broth does contain gluten so be sure to read the label. When I don’t have homemade chicken broth on hand, I use either Imagine Foods organic, free-range chicken broth or Pacific Foods organic, free-range chicken broth, both of which are gluten-free.