Woo boy! Had I forgotten how absolutely delicious this recipe is! For some reason, I had thought that it was more involved than it really is… It’s mostly simple. And ohhh, is it ever yummy! It’s creamy cheesy, luscious, flavorful and all-around very enjoyable.
I used the basic recipe from Gourmet Magazine, which can be found verbatim here. I did make some of my own adaptations to it for this evening’s version… I added a small bit of chopped maple bacon to the cheese sauce. In place of 4 cups of cheddar cheese, I used 6 oz. of smoked cheddar, 2 cups of Chihuahua cheese and 2 cups of a Cheddar, White Cheddar, Monterey Jack cheese blend. Also, in place of 2 tsp. of mustard, I used 1 tsp of hot mustard… because that was all we had in the house. Yum, yum, yummy…
Bonus: Jpup really liked it and even took some home with her. So I can add a Kid-Approved stamp on this one too. 🙂
Here’s the way I made it tonight:
1. Boil water and cook one box/package of Pasta. I used whole-wheat penne, for no reason in particular. Drain, stir and set aside.
2. Rough chop Maple Bacon and cook. Set aside on a paper towel. I ended up with approximately 1/2 cup of the cooked bacon.
2. In a large saucepan, melt 3 Tbsp Butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in 3 Tbsp Flour and 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes. Continue to cook and whisk for 3 minutes to make a roux. Slowly whisk in 2-3/4 cups Milk, and then bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Simmer for 3 minutes, whisking occasionally. Stir in 3/4 cups of Half and Half, 4 cups of Cheeses (see above), 1 tsp Hot Mustard and a dash of Salt. Add cooked Bacon. Stir until mostly smooth and remove from heat.
3. In a large pot, mix the pasta and the cheese sauce together. Transfer to a greased casserole dish and sprinkle with Bread Crumbs to cover the top. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until warm and bubbly.
Next time I’ll have to get a picture of the actual insides of the dish. I’m also thinking that a White Cheddar cheese sauce would be fun to try… But oh my, this is the way to go for some good homemade Macaroni and Cheese!