Monday, September 15, 2008

Ultimate Mac 'N Cheese with Bacon and Peas

What is it about Mac and Cheese that just makes kids and grown ups alike swoon at the first taste? Something about the warm cheese that just melts on your mouth and fills your insides up. When you pair it with bacon, ah yes now you're just in heaven. Okay okay enough dreamin' lets get to the good stuff.

Menu: Ultimate Mac 'N Cheese with Bacon and Peas

Ultimate Mac 'N Cheese with Bacon and Peas

1 pound elbow macaroni
kosher salt
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

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Fold in 2 cups frozen peas (thawed under cool water), and season with salt and pepper.
  7. 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.
  8. Remove mac & cheese from the oven.
Allow plenty of time to cool because nobody likes a burnt mouth and cheese can burn like nobody's business. I'd serve with a big glass of milk and maybe a can of peaches.

Recipe and photo courtesy of FoodNetwork

1 comment:

Alisa Maiben said...


I made this dish. I can out really good. I did the step differemt, but it came out the same.