“Mac and Cheese.”
Come on, say it with me: “Mac and Cheese.”
Admit it, you feel better, right? You can’t say “Mac and Cheese” without smiling, and saying it makes you feel good! Eating it makes you feel better. They don’t call it comfort food for nothing, now do they? Add bacon to everyone’s favorite and you’ll get an endorphin rush like you would not believe! Those happy chemicals in your body start to runnin’ around, and the next thing you know, you’re feelin’ it! Throw in a jalapeño and now you’re starting to sweat a little…. really, this dish is better than
sex almost anything I can think of!
- 1 pound macaroni (penne or elbow macaroni)
- 4 cups hot milk
- 1 stick of butter
- ½ cup flour
- 4 cups Gruyère cheese – shredded
- 2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese — shredded
- 2 TSP salt
- 2 TSP pepper
- ½ TSP nutmeg
- 1 Jalapeño – diced
- 8 – 12 slices of bacon, depending on thickness, cooked and cut into ½ inch chunks
- Bread Crumbs
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Boil pasta as directed on the package, drain well.
- In separate pot warm milk over medium – low heat.
- Melt butter in large pot over low heat and whisk in flour for 2 minutes.
- Stir constantly.
- Whisk in hot milk.
- Bring heat to high and boil mixture, whisking until thick and smooth.
- Remove from heat.
- Add cheeses, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Add the diced jalapeño and bacon, then add pasta.
- Stir thoroughly.
- Pour into 9″x13″ baking dish and top with bread crumbs.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
Pretty easy. Boil, melt, whisk, stir and whisk. Stir some more and pour.
Below: Sorry, I couldn’t resist a gratuitous bacon shot — the bacon is ready, and the cheese jalapeño mixture is about to say hello to the penne pasta.
Thoroughly stirred, pour the mixture to the baking dish and covered with bread crumbs. Hey, is that the uncooked mac and cheese, or an intercepted photograph from NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity? I think I see a footprint….
45 minutes later… you’re smiling!
It’s hot, it’s gooey and it’s got a little kick. And, praise the lard, discovered with every bite is that sweet, salty meat candy. Perfect as a side dish complementing your favorite meat entrée, or as a stand alone main course, this recipe will have your Mac and Cheese lovers in their comfort zone for sure!
* From Old French: lard (“bacon”), from Latin: lardum, laridum (“bacon fat”).