Laura is my friend, she is a lovely person, she is a picky picky picky eater. She knows this. We’ve talked about it and I am making it my personal mission to change it. But, I am also a realistic person. So when she comes over to our house somehow I always make things I know she will eat. Nothing breaks my heart more than when my guests don’t eat what I make. So in order to avoid any heart-break on my part, I make her mac n’ cheese! She really likes it so in the end we are both very happy girls!
I must warn you this is not a diet mac n’ cheese but I do try to make it as healthy as possible.
What you need:
1lb of macaroni noodles (or what ever you need to use in your pantry) cooked VERY al dente, I usually cook mine only half way. Trust me, you don’t want to completely cook your noodles (they get to cook in the oven!).
1/2 onion finely chopped
4-5 pieces of bacon roughly chopped
4 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of flour
1 1/2 cup of warm milk
1 1/2 cup of chicken broth (see healthy!)
3 1/2 cups of shredded cheeses: mozzarella , cheddar, Swiss, YOUR favorite will work (I always mix at least 2)
Oven at 375F
Grease a 9X11 baking dish, set aside
Easy does it, in a large sauce pan or dutch oven start with the bacon. On medium heat, cook your bacon until crispy but NOT burnt. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel. Drain the bacon fat from your pan, but do not clean it (that’s flavor, you don’t want to lose it!) Next add your butter, once the butter is melted (but not brown) add your onion and slowly cook until soft 4-5 minutes. Time to add your flour, gently stirring, incorporate the flour to your butter, making a roux (meaning: a cooked mixture of flour and fat used as a thickening agent in a soup or a sauce ). Grab a whisk (make your life easy) and slowly add your milk and your chicken broth. Turn up the heat (SLOWLY) and constantly stirring bring this to a gentle boil. Your sauce will thicken nicely and you should have no visible lumps. Reduce heat to low. Put in 1/2 of your crumbled bacon. Try not to eat all the bacon while you are cooking. You may need to start with more bacon….I speak from experience!
Time to assemble the madness! I should point out that here is what I like to do different, I do not add my cheese to my bechamel (white sauce). I like to control my cheeses. (I know, crazy!)
Spread 1/2 cup of your white sauce at the bottom of your baking dish, add 1/3 of your noodles, top with 1 cup of cheese then 1 cup of white sauce….again: 1/3 noodles, 1 cup of cheese, 1 cup of white sauce….again final 1/3 of your noodles, 1 cup of cheese, all that is left of your white sauce (which should be more than1 cup). Take a spoon and smush (technical word here) everything together, spreading all the sauce evenly. Top with your last 1/2 cup of cheese and the rest of your bacon. Cover with foil.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown!
At this point, you want to pull out your cheesy fiesta and let it sit for 5 minutes but REALLY? I am so bad at waiting and I am the official taster here. So, I usually grab a fork and take a bite. I try to be sneaky and push the macaroni back as if I was never there! Never works!
This is easy to make and it makes everyone happy! :)
Printer friendly: Macaroni and Cheese for Laura