Decadent Mac and Cheese with Bacon Recipe

                                   Decadent Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Rock salt
500 gms uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
8 cloves garlic, smashed and divided
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
6 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Spanish paprika
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 pc large onion, diced
Yellow food coloring
Cooking Procedure:
# Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8-9 mins or until al dente. Drain. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
# In a small saucepan, heat the milk, cream and sour cream with the thyme sprigs and 3 smashed garlic cloves for. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming. Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth. Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese (yellow food color can be added at this stage). Season with salt, pepper and the spices. Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley and fold so that macaroni is coated well with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 2 cups of cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and top is slightly browned.
# While that bakes, heat a saute in a pan. Add the bacon, render the fat and cook until crispy. Add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Season with salt and pepper.
# To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the mac and cheese and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking bacon mixture in each spoonful.

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