Breakfast Mac n' Cheese
Everyone loves a good mac ‘n cheese, but have you ever had it for breakfast? This hearty sweet potato and jalapeño mac is killer by itself, but serve it with a sunny-side-up egg next to a mimosa or bloody and you’ve got a brunch that will blow your guests away.
For this recipe you will need:
- 1 large sweet potato, unpeeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 jalapeños, diced
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 box penne rigate
- 3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3-4 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bottle golden ale (I prefer Kona Big Wave Golden Ale)
- 1/2 quart (16 ounces) heavy cream
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup fontina cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 24 eggs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Yield: ~12 serving
Step 1: The Prep (Prep 5 min, Cook 30-40 min)
Preheat oven to 400°F degrees.
Place sweet potato and jalapeño on a sheet tray and toss in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until fork tender. Pull out and set aside for later.
In a large pan bring some salted water to a boil. Add the box of penne rigate and a teaspoon of olive oil. Cook for about 10 minutes or until al dente (you are going to bake this again later in the mac so you don’t want the noodles over-cooked). Drain and save for later.
Step 2: Make Your Cheese Sauce (Prep 10 min, Cook 25-30 min)
Heat butter in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes until they are a nice golden color. Slowly add in the flour, stirring constantly to create a roux. Cook the roux until it is lightly golden in color, about 10-15 minutes. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in your bottle of golden ale to create a smooth sauce. Add in the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add a few squirts of your favorite hot sauce (I like Sriracha and/or Tabasco). Add in your cheese, being sure to constantly mix to create a smooth and delicious sauce.
*Stefenism: Add your cheese in small batches. Allow the mixture to fully melt with each addition, while continuing to stir. This will create a smoother sauce*
Step 3: Finishing Touches (Prep 5 min, Cook 30-40 min)
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Once your cheese sauce is ready, it’s time to assemble the mac! Combine the noodles, roasted sweet potato and jalapeño mixture, and cheese sauce in to a baking dish. Top with the panko breadcrumbs and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
When the mac is almost done, cook your eggs any style of your choosing. I prefer sunny-side up for the presentation and runny yolk.
For presentation I like to add a pool of Sriracha to the bottom of the plate. Add a slice of the mac, and then top the whole thing with the eggs, some fresh green onion, and thinly sliced fresh jalapeno.
*Stefenism: you can also make this dish without the eggs for dinner the night before. If you do this, refrigerate over night, and reheat the slices in the oven before topping with the eggs the next day*