Tuesday, May 25, 2010
More Cheese and Bacon Please
Although I might have a soft spot for the blue box in certain situations, real homemade mac and cheese is like ordering the top shelf drink instead of the well option. Even though there may be a time and place for the cheaper alternative, the top shelf choice is just that much better.
My mac and cheese is not really anything special or unpredictable, but I think it's a hit among friends simply because they will never actually bother to make it themselves. (Am I right people?) I don't always add bacon but because I had ripped open a package this past weekend, it seemed an appropriate addition. I've also discovered that it's better to stud the top of the mac and cheese with the bacon pieces so that they stay crispy, otherwise when stirred into the sauce and pasta they can get soggy, but it's totally your choice. Some peeps like bacon crispy (like me!) and others like it a bit...limp. Again. Your choice.
Below please find my miniature version of the full scale macaroni and cheese recipe originally found in The Ski House Cookbook. :) You don't have to make it for a crowd...you can actually eat the whole thing yourself. If you want. And it's not bathing suit season. I'm just saying...
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 ounces)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, if desired
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces dried pasta (such as penne or cavatappi)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly until smooth and no lumps remain. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
3. Remove the milk mixture from the heat and add the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, stirring until melted. Add the mustard, cayenne (if using), and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and add to the cheese sauce and stir until combined. Spread the cheese and pasta mixture in a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese and chopped bacon evenly over the pasta mixture and bake for 20-30 minutes, until bubbling and golden on top. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Makes 2 servings.