Sunday, January 30, 2011
Four Cheese and Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese
I've finally found a mac 'n' cheese dish that my whole family enjoyed. This recipe takes a little work but the end result is worth it.
This recipe was featured in a Family Circle magazine last year along with 10 other recipes for mac 'n' cheese. If you didn't see that article, you can see it here.
Four Cheese with Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese
my recipe with changes:
2 boxes cavatappi pasta
8 sliced bacon, diced
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 tbsp. flour
4 c. 2% milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 1/2 c. colby - jack cheese, shredded
1 1/2 c. pepper - jack cheese, shredded
12 slices of American cheese - cut into small pieces
Heat oven to 350*
Cook pasta for 8 minutes, and then drain well. While the pasta is cooking, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Reserve 4 tbsp bacon drippings in the pan. Add butter. Melt the butter into the bacon dripppings.
Whisk flour into the melted butter until smooth. In a thin stream, whisk in milk. Stir in salt and peppers. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.
Toss all of the cheeses together in a large bowl.
Remove thickened milk from heat; whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the cheeses. Stir until all of the cheese has melted into the sauce.
Crumble bacon into small pieces and toss into the remaining shredded cheese.
In your pasta pot, combine the pasta and cheese sauce. Mix well until all of the pasta has been coated completely. Pour half of the pasta into a 9x13 dish that you've lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle a half of the remaining cheese and bacon over the pasta. Repeat with another layer of pasta and top with remaining cheese and bacon.
Bake for 20 minutes. Increase oven to broil and broil for 3 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
This makes a lot of mac 'n' cheese. I had a full 9 x13 dish with a small 8x8 pan left over. I always use the extra in my husband's lunches during the week. The mac n cheese warmed up well in the microwave.
It's cheesey and delicious. My family raved about this for days. It's a keeper. :)