Big, Bad Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese
Source of Recipe
From "Southern Living Bourbon & Bacon" by Morgan Murphy
"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
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.
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.