Bacon Mac and Cheese
Bacon Mac and Cheese
Yield: 8 Servings
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- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup pink (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- ½ cup freshly-grated Parmesan
- 4 to 5 thick-sliced bacon, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 5 cups whole milk
- 2 cups shredded or cubed Smoked Gouda cheese
- 2 cups shredded or cubed cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons powdered or prepared mustard
- 1-teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter two 9-inch by 13-inch pans.
- Prepare topping: In a small bowl, heat the 3 tablespoons butter until it just starts to melt. Stir in the breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese; set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan to keep warm. Pasta is done when it is slightly chewy to the bite or "al dente." Drain pasta in a colander and then transfer to a large bowl.
Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking
- In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, add bacon and cook until golden, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Drain the bacon fat from the pan and discard.
- In the same saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the 6 tablespoons butter. Stir in the minced onions and garlic; sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until onions are translucent. Do not let the butter brown during this stage.
- Whisk in the flour and cook an additional 3 minutes, whisking constantly until the flour is bubbly. Gradually add the milk and bring just to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring often, until the sauce slightly thickens, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the smoked Gouda cheese, Cheddar cheese, and mustard, and stir until cheese is melted.
- Remove pan from heat and fold in the cooked Macaroni pasta and the cooked bacon pieces. The macaroni should be soupy at this point, as it will absorb a large amount of sauce as it bakes.
- Transfer pasta to baking dishes. Top each dish with some of the reserved prepared breadcrumb topping.
- Bake approximately 15 to 20 minutes until bubbly and top begins to brown. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
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