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Aaaahh yes - FINALLY. Mac and Cheese Mondays is back.
I can make all kinds of excuses for myself, but honestly - things have been TOTALLY nuts over the last couple of months.
And suddenly it's November.
Please forgive me! *sniff*
When Michelle's recipe for Grown Up Mac & Cheese came into my rotation, I was so excited.
Cause something with the words "Grown Up" in the title has GOTTA make me sound all mature and crap.
Also, it gave me an opportunity to delve into the realm of new cheeses. Like blue cheese. I've never been sure that I would like blue cheese - since I tend to prefer things a little more on the sweet side.
Not that cheese is sweet.
Turns out - I don't like sharp cheese.
But since I promised Victoria that she would read all about it on the blog - here it is!
First, cook your pasta of choice to al dente, drain, and set aside.
Then, fry up some bacon until it's crispy.
In a pot, melt some butter.
Add some flour and stir until smooth and combined.
In a separate pot, heat some milk.
Add the hot milk to the butter mixture and heat until thickened.
Then add in the Gruyere, sharp cheddar, and blue cheese.
Stir until melted.
Add the pasta and the bacon and stir until well combined.
Pour the pasta mixture into a casserole dish and top with bread crumbs then bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden and the pasta is bubbling.
I actually pulled mine out at about 30 minutes.
So, this little girl that I adore completely - my niece Dannika - scarfed down her whole helping (and all her asparagus!) without having to be coaxed or bribed at all.
Now, I'm not sure if she scarfed the whole thing down because she LIKED it - or simply because it was macaroni and cheese - which she loves.
As for me? I'm going to stick with the medium flavoured cheeses. Sharps are just not my thing.
This is the Cane girl - signing off.
Grown Up Mac & Cheese
4 ounces thick-sliced bacon (I used four SLICES - because apparently I can't read)
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
3 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves (I forgot about this!)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
- Fry bacon until crisp, chop when cool, and set aside.
- In a small pot, heat milk over low heat until warm - don't boil.
- In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat.
- Add the flour and cook until smooth and golden, about 2 minutes.
- Add the milk to the large pot and stir to combine. Continue to cook until thickened.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add all three cheeses, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until smooth and cheese is all melted.
- Add the bacon and pasta to the large pot and stir to combine.
- Pour pasta mixture into a suitably sized casserole dish.
- Tear the bread into large pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until the bread pieces become coarse crumbs. Add the chopped basil and pulse until the basil and bread crumbs are combined.
- Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over the pasta.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the crumb topping is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Around 35 to 40 minutes.
- Let stand for 5 minutes out of the oven and then serve.