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    Big, Bad Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese

    Source of Recipe

    From "Southern Living Bourbon & Bacon" by Morgan Murphy

    Recipe Introduction

    "Three-cheese macaroni with plenty of bacon makes the ultimate side dish. Kick the mac from a box and try all three variations."

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ One 16-ounce package elbow macaroni
    ◦ ½ cup butter
    ◦ ½ cup all-purpose flour
    ◦ ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
    ◦ ½ teaspoon table salt
    ◦ ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    ◦ ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
    ◦ 2 cups half-and-half
    ◦ 2 cups milk
    ◦ 8 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded
    ◦ 4 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
    ◦ 10 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
    ◦ 12 cooked hickory-smoked bacon slices

    Recipe

    Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm.

    Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in granulated garlic and next three ingredients. Gradually whisk in half-and-half and milk. Cook, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened.

    Add Gruyère cheese, smoked Gouda cheese, and half of sharp Cheddar cheese, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.

    Crumble 8 bacon slices. Stir crumbled bacon and pasta into cheese mixture. Pour into a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Crumble remaining 4 bacon slices.

    Sprinkle crumbled bacon and remaining half of sharp Cheddar cheese over top of casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 350° F for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

    Makes 10 servings





    ❧ Switch It Up:

    • Blue Cheese:
    Omit Gruyère cheese, and substitute 8 ounces fontina cheese. Omit smoked Gouda cheese, and substitute 8 ounces cambozola cheese, rind removed, and cut into pieces. Omit Cheddar cheese and substitute 6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled and divided. Proceed as directed in recipe.

    • Spanish-Style:
    Stir 2 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika into flour mixture along with granulated garlic and next three ingredients. Omit Gruyère cheese, and substitute 8 ounces smoked fontina cheese, shredded. Stir one (7.5-ounce) jar piquillo peppers, drained and chopped, into cheese sauce. Proceed as directed in recipe.

    • Spicy Jalapeño:
    Omit Gruyère cheese and substitute 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded. Omit 10 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese and substitute 12 ounces pepper Jack cheese, shredded and divided. Stir ⅔ cup diced, drained, pickled jalapeño peppers into cheese sauce. Proceed as directed in recipe.

 

 

 


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