Saturday, August 28, 2010

Grown-up Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Here is the good thing about this recipe...it is the BEST mac'n'cheese I have ever had in my entire life.

Here is the bad thing about this recipe...it only makes two servings!

In other words be prepared to double it, NO triple it!


I guess when you combine three different types of cheese, bacon, and pasta you really can't go wrong! I savored every bite of this meal and when it was over, I was sad. I never thought I could get sad about mac'n'cheese, kind of weird.


Look its the Italian flag in cheese!


A bunch of crumbled turkey bacon. Yes, this recipe has bacon. Did you see the title "Grown-up..." that is really code for "plus bacon". When doesn't bacon make things better!


Adorable lil pinwheel pasta, which I used because I thought they were cuter than macaroni.

This was the first time I used actual bread for the bread crumbs portion of the recipe. I always used the jar of bread crumbs, but the pantry was barren of bread crumbs. So I followed the recipe and placed two crust-less slices of bread in my mini food processor and pulsed till they were little bitty crumbs. This created a light crumbly crust on top of the mac'n'cheese, it was not what I expected in a good way. I did just read about another way to make bread crumbs from TheComfortofCooking that I think I'll be trying this weekend, thanks Georgia!


Grown-up Baked Macaroni and Cheese

6 slices thick bacon
2 cups macaroni, or your favorite pasta
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 ounces gruyere cheese, grated
3 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
2 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
2 slices of bread, crust removed
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

Cook bacon on skillet or bake in oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat cooked bacon to reduce grease and crumble, set aside.

Bring a medium pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to directions on package, add a sprinkle of extra-virgin olive oil to reduce sticking of pasta. Drain well and set aside.

Place two pieces of crustless bread into food processor and pulse till you have coarse crumbs. Add in chopped basil and mix till combined, set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, if not already. In a small saucepan, heat milk until warm, being careful not to let it boil. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan melt butter and add flour. While whisking butter/flour mixture, cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Add in warm milk and continue to whisk. Cook for an additional 2 minutes or until sauce is smooth and thickened. Remove saucepan from heat and add in Gruyere, Cheddar, and Gorgonzola Cheeses and salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir till combined. Add in cooked pasta and crumbled bacon and stir till combined. Pour mixture into 2 medium gratin dishes (I used 2 Corningware baking dishes). Top macaroni and cheese dishes with bread crumb and basil mixture. Bake for 35 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and bread crumbs are browned. Remove and serve warm.

This recipe was adapted from FoodNetwork, its one of those recipes that got covered in kitchen mess and rapid note taking. For some reason a piece of paper is just the perfect spoon rest, not that nice silver one we got for our wedding, that one requires more dishwashing!

This weekend I am going to tackle something I have been a little nervous about making, I am so excited to share with you all! Hope everyone has a super weekend!

26 comments:

  1. This I gotta try. Love the three cheeses and the pinwheel!

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  2. Looks really yummy. I don't cook much but this is something I would like to try!

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  3. Hard to beat mac and cheese, especially with some bacon in it! Love playing with different cheeses like this!

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  4. Love the combination of flavors in this! I certainly would love a BIG bowl of this :o)

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  5. Yup. Making this for dinner this week.. I told MM about it and he said "danm..that sounds good."

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  6. Yay for grown up mac n' cheese. I'm also glad to see you used turkey bacon since I don't eat pork and I'm always glad to see that turkey bacon is an a-ok substitute!

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  7. this is a wonderful mac and cheese, especially with the bacon!!! Your right two portions would never be enough!

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  8. I love the combo of the cheeses and BACON! Yum... Looks delicious!

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  9. That looks amazing, def going to give it a try! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  10. This looks amazing! Mac and cheese is one of my all time favorite comfort foods and this grown up recipe is definitely one I'm adding to my collection of "must make" recipes. Thanks :)

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  11. I love grown-up mac and cheese! Fresh bread crumbs make all the difference, I'm a huge believer :)

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  12. Oh my goodness, you're making me so hungry! Gruyere and Gorgonzola are two of my favorite kinds of cheese! This looks fabulous.

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  13. I could easily eat 6 servings of this! The pasta is so cute, and the blend of three cheeses...just too yummy! I love what you did here!

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  14. I had no idea that Gruyere and Gorgonzola would work together, but it looks really good. Am going to have to try. The pinwheels are really cute. Different. It's hard to turn my kids away from penne. And...yes, there's nothing better than using fresh breadcrumbs.
    Nice pics, too.
    diane

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  15. Hi there,
    I have never cooked with Gruyere or Gorgonzola before, but here is always a first...right?

    One thing I am is honest here. I love the mix of flavors and Gorgonzola is a blue cheese variety...isn't it?

    I bet it has the flavors-almost of a good Cobb Salad with the bacon, blue type cheese...the only thing you're missing is a little tomato and avocado-though I am not telling you to add them!

    I always love your recipes and would love you to share more of them on my little blog.

    It needs some activity! ;-)

    Polly Motzko

    If you post a few recipes, that would be a great birthday present for me on the 31st.

    http://www.CookingUpAStorminCA.ning.com

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  16. yummy! you never get too old for mac & cheese! it's such a comfort food... and i like how you've made it grown up!
    ~Prairie Story ...care of Alison Zulyniak

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  17. Okay, well, you had me at gorgonzola!!

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  18. Wow now that's a Grown up Mac& Cheese! Sounds and looks delicious.

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  19. I love the blue cheese on this! Looks awesome!

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  20. So I don't have to be sad about the fact that I'd be the only one in my family eating this since it has blue cheese! I love this!

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  21. This looks delicious, and the three cheese combination sounds fantastic. I'm a recent Gorgonzola addict, but have never used it in mac'n'cheese before - must try soon though :-)

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  22. Ok you got me...I just might have to make mac and cheese tonight! Looks delicious!!

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  23. I love mac and cheese!! I haven't been too adventurous in the cheese department though (typically just sharp cheddar or american) but I do add bacon to my recipe too!! Bacon makes everything better! Lol

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  24. This may be grown up but I think my kids would love it too. What a great way to welcome them home after the first day back to school!

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