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Posts Tagged ‘Macaroni and Cheese’

The last macaroni and cheese of the season… Because it really is much more of a hearty wintertime dish, even though it is oh-so good. It follows pretty much this recipe here, adapted from Gourmet Magazine. Here’s the way I make it…

  • 1-lb Maple Bacon
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2-3/4 cups Milk
  • 3/4 cups Half and Half (because that is what is in the house)
  • 4 cups Shredded and/or Cubed Cheeses (I use a variety of cheese, also depending on what is in the house. This batch had: Smoked Cheddar, White Cheddar & Monterey Jack.)
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1-lb Whole Wheat Pasta (this batch was elbows and they worked very well.)

1. Boil water for pasta. Cook as directed, drain and set aside.
2. Rough cut bacon and cook. Drain and set aside.
3. Melt butter in a large pot over medium low heat. Whisk in flour and red pepper flakes. Cook, while whisking, for 3 minutes to make a roux. Continue to whisk and add milk in a slow stream. Bring the sauce to a boil and continue to whisk constantly. Simmer, whisking occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 and 1/2, cheeses, mustard and salt. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked bacon.
4. Add cooked pasta to cheese sauce. Pour mixture into a lightly-oiled baking dish. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Uncover, and cook for approximately 10 more minutes, until bubbly and golden. Enjoy! It’s really really good…

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I didn’t originally plan on doing much, if any, cooking today. But in the car this morning on the way home, I was trying to figure out what I might be able to make for dinner this evening… an extra bonus would be if there was enough for some lunches too for the next day or so. I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store, so I was trying to find something where all the ingredients were on hand. I came up with Macaroni and Cheese, or Rotini and Cheese, as it turned out. It should be interesting, because I gathered up several types of ‘leftover’ cheeses from the fridge… this version has blue cheese, smoked cheddar, mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheese in it. There’s also some mushrooms and bacon too. It was a fitting way to use up those straggler items in the fridge, and it’ll definitely be around for a few days.

Then, while I was at it, I decided to make some Turkey Meatballs for the freezer… because those are always good to have around too. So, soon I’ll be bagging them and tucking them away. For now though, it’s about time to start cooking the mac and cheese dish. (It turned out very tasty, by the way. The blue cheese added some deep flavors to it.). So, nothing new here, just some oldies but goodies from the kitchen…

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Courtesy of Ms. Paula Deen. She does have a knack sometimes for putting together the most outlandish ingredients… Now, I like fried things. I like bacon. I love macaroni and cheese. I even put bacon pieces in my macaroni and cheese sometimes. I still don’t think I would have ever thought to put them all together in this fashion. Tee-hee…

This just cracked me up when I saw it… I’m sure it’s damn tasty, but it just seems like it’s a bit much. I suppose that is the whole point though. 😉

Paula Deen’s Fried Mac and Cheese Video Clip

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Macaroni and Cheese Overhead

These are from my third batch… it was back to being nice and creamy and yummy, with a subtle crunch to the top layer. My second batch was too thick and too heavy… too much flour and cheese. This latest was back to delectable. 🙂

Corner of Macaroni and Cheese

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Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese

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!

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