I made this macaroni dish back in September, it must have been, and I completely forgot to post on it until today—when a postpartum tubal ligation reminded me. Fun fact, when you get your tubes tied, the little piece of fallopian tube that gets snipped out looks EXACTLY like a piece of macaroni. Except it’s pink.
Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from HyVee
1 pound elbow macaroni
6 slices hickory-smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
6 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 c. plain panko bread crumbs
5 tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 1/2 c. 2% milk, at room temperature
1 c. 33%-less-sodium chicken broth
4 c. (16 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 c. (6 ounces) shredded Gruyere, divided
1 c. (4 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
1/2 c. (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Cook macaroni until pasta is still firm on the inside, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water; set aside. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook bacon just until done, avoiding overbrowning; drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Stir in bread crumbs and cooked bacon pieces; set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart baking dish; set aside.
In a large saucepan melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, salt, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and black pepper until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce begins to bubble and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat. Whisk in 3 cups white cheddar, 1 cup Gruyere, fontina and Parmesan. Stir together cheese sauce and macaroni; pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere. Top with buttered breadcrumbs and bacon.
Bake until well browned on top, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Although it has been ages since I last had this dish, I do believe it was flavorful. Wish I had it now, after a long full day on labor and delivery. You’ll never believe this, but when I got home just now, Izzy told me she had been practicing her subcuticular stitches and hoped I would let her scrub in on the cesarean I’ve got first thing in the morning.
I told her she needs to build her resume first with volunteering, maybe as a therapy pet.
Then she told me nevermind about the surgery. She never really cared about that, anyways. All along she had hoped to sneak off to the cafeteria to shadow the lunch ladies.
I said, Perfect, my dear. You’ve got to do what makes your heart sing.