Menu: Ultimate Mac 'N Cheese with Bacon and Peas
Ultimate Mac 'N Cheese with Bacon and PeasIngredients:
1 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups warm milk
5 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 pound elbow macaroni and cook until al dente, about 8 to 9 minutes, and drain.
- Melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming.
- Gradually whisk in 4 cups warm whole milk. Whisk vigorously, and continue to cook until the mixture is thick and smooth. Stir in 4 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted. Season the cheese sauce with salt and pepper, then add cooked macaroni to the pan. Mix well until macaroni is fully coated with the cheese mixture.
- Heat a 2-count of olive oil in a saut? pan. Add 4 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips, 1 large onion (diced), 2 garlic cloves (smashed), and leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme and cook for about 5 minutes, until onion is softened.
- Fold in 2 cups frozen peas (thawed under cool water), and season with salt and pepper.
- Scrape contents of both pans into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle the top with (OPTIONAL) a few slices of tomato, handful of breadcrumbs and 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
- Remove mac & cheese from the oven.
Recipe and photo courtesy of FoodNetwork