Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

These pictures honestly don't do justice to the amazingness of this dish.

Dressed Up Mac & Cheese

• Butter, for greasing baking dish
• 8 oz. macaroni
• 2 1/2 cups cold milk
• 4 oz. mozzarella, coarsely grated
• 4 oz. aged parmesan, coarsely grated
• 2 large eggs
• 4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
• 3 slices white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces
• 4 strips bacon (sometimes I do 6 if I'm feeling extra naughty)
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp. Kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart shallow casserole dish. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the macaroni until al dente about 5 minutes. Drain; transfer the pasta to the prepared casserole dish along with 1/4 cup of the cold milk. (This will cool the pasta and prevent it from becoming gummy.)
2. Meanwhile, mix the cheeses together in a small bowl. In a separate medium sized bowl, beat the eggs with 1/4 cup of the milk. Add the scallions, bread and half of the cheese to the egg mixture; mix and set aside.
3. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain. Do NOT discard the bacon grease. Add the onion and garlic to the grease; cook, stirring, until just brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon salt; cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk and 3/4 cup water to the skillet. Bring to a boil, whisking until thick. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk to cool slightly. Whisk in the remaining cheese. Add the sauce to the macaroni; stir to combine.
4. Crumble up the bacon and add it to the egg/bread mixture. Spread evenly over the pasta. Place the casserole dish on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven; let sit 5 minutes before serving.
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