Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bacon Mac and Cheese!

I had this sudden urge to make home made mac and cheese. I have never made it before; yes crazy I know.. degree in Culinary and Pastry Arts and I have never made mac and cheese! Anyway.. it just sounded so good and here my family just loves that damn little addictive blue box of mac and cheese. I went on line looking for Cooking Light recipes because well I love Cooking Light and if I am gonna make it I may as well pick a semi healthy recipe to try! I came across a list of 12 mac and cheese recipes from Cooking Light and sponsored by; I picked out 3 I wanted to try and Mom picked from there.  It was decided on Bacon Mac! How can we go wrong with bacon and mac and cheese!
First let me tell you how so easy it was to make!!! I was expecting so much more work! It was wonderfully simple to make; even grating the cheese cause well yay for a food processor ;).  My only issue was the green onions.. they were a bit strong and almost.. almost overpowered the awesomeness of the recipe.  Either way it was an amazing recipe and I fully expect to make it again most likely once I am moved and can make it for my future husband ;).

Bacon Mac:
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 12 ounces strozzapreti or penne pasta (I used corkscrew as I was feeling screwy!)
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk, divided
  • 2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided (I used an 8 oz block of sharp and long horn cheese)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I left this out.. mom was being picky)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used 3 because well bacon is awesome)
  • Cooking spray 

1. Preheat broiler.
2. Bring 6 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.
3. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add 1 cup milk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until it cools to 155°. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, onions, hot sauce, pepper, and bacon; stir. Add pasta; toss. Spoon into a 2-quart broiler-safe dish coated with cooking spray; top with 1/2 cup cheese. Broil 7 minutes.

I would definitely follow the directions as is.  I stirred the pasta and cheese sauce together and let it sit a bit while I finished my chops and the 7 minutes under the broiler didn't heat up what had cooled down. So I would next time put directly under the broiler or just mix and put in a heated over for a good 30 min. or so.  I also took the cheese that went on top and mixed it with some bread crumbs so that I could have a little extra crunch.. mmm So damn yummy!!! 

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