Sunday, January 2, 2011
I love bacon. That's hardly a surprise I know for those who have visited the blog more than once. But I can't help it. Bacon is just one of those foods that is so yummy it is just wrong on so many levels that it can't be rationalized as healthy. I've been wanting to make this recipe for weeks but never quite got around to it, more due to laziness than busyness. Today, with the weather hovering near zero around Chicago, it seemed a perfect day to cook something warm, hearty and packed full of bacony goodness.
As macaroni and cheese recipes go, this was a bit more complicated than I had expected despite the fact that I had picked the recipe out previously (we'll just chalk that up my usual habit of focusing on the ingredients and not so much on the instructions). But despite some not so tiny shortcomings (I didn't have enough milk and substituted buttermilk instead rather than brave the cold and overcooking it just a little) this turned out to be a pretty awesome recipe. I would have preferred a little more creaminess to it but considering the substitutions and overcooking it's understandable. Definitely a keeper for me.
Adapted from "Seduced by Bacon" by Joanna Prues & Bob Lape
1/2 pound dry elbow macaroni
8 slices thick slice bacon, cut into 1 inch strips
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp hungarian paprika
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
3 cups sharp white cheddar cheese shredded
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 minutes; drain and set aside.
Cook bacon in large skillet over medium high heat until fat begins to melt and overs bottom of pan. Stir in onions and cook until bacon is crisp and onions are golden brown, stirring often. Set aside.
In large saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Whisk in flour and cook over medium heat until completely smooth, whisking constantly. Whisk in milk, paprika, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.
Whisk egg in bowl before whisking in 1/2 cup of white sauce mix. Whisk mixture back into saucepan. Stir in 2 cups of cheddar cheese into sauce until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Combine macaroni, white sauce and bacon mixture together. Spoon into 2 quart casserole dish. Place dish on baking pan.
Combine remaining cheese and bread crumbs. spoon topping over macaroni and bake for 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.