Saturday, August 6, 2011

Smoked Cheddar Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

I came across this incredible website full of the best sounding recipes.  It's called  How Sweet It Is.  And oh how sweet it really is.  I spent a couple of hours pouring over every single recipe and then another hour deciding what I wanted to make first.  I decided on this absolutely incredible mac and cheese recipe.  Which is very odd...for me anyway.  I like my macaroni and cheese to be just that....macaroni and cheese. When it comes to mac and cheese I shy away from the add ons like bacon, and broccoli. I can't explain why I was drawn to this particular recipe, considering the tons of great ones on the site. But, I was and I'm so glad I was. And you will be too when you try sweet it is!

Let's Get Started:

Smoked Cheddar Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
Slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is

2 cups shell pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1-2 cups grated smoked cheddar cheese – depends on desired consistency (I used 2 cups).
4-5 slices applewood smoked bacon

salt & pepper to taste
a pinch of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400.

Fry bacon in a medium-large pan.  Once cooked, let drain on a paper towel, then chop into tiny bits.

Boil salted water & add pasta when ready . Cook and drain water. Set aside.

In a small saucepan on low-medium heat, whisk 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon flour to create a roux, about 5 minutes.

 Add half of the heavy cream and half of chicken broth. Add in half of the smoked cheddar cheddar cheese. Continuously stir so cheese does not stick to bottom. Alternately add more cheese, heavy cream and chicken broth until you reach desired consistency. It should be thick like a gravy.

Add a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Add pasta to casserole dish. Add cream sauce over top. Sprinkle bacon on top.

Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

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