Happy New Year!!! I hope everyone had fun last night, but not too much fun! Kramer and I are flying to New York today, so I may or may not be updating in the next week; it just depends on how much free time I have and what kind of internet access is available. Either way, I’m really excited about our trip!
Now, onto the food. Who doesn’t absolutely adore macaroni and cheese? It’s another dish that you love at any age. I remember when I was little, my favorite macaroni and cheese was made by my grandma who lived in South Carolina. She baked it, though, and I wanted something a bit quicker, so I made mine on the stove top. It was creamy, rich, and flavorful. The different cheeses made for a great combination and the smokiness of the bacon was perfect. This is sure to be a hit, and can easily be doubled if needed! Recipe after the jump, as always.
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt
- ½ pound elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1½ cups milk
- 4 oz. Fontina cheese, shredded (I used a Gruyere; you can really use any cheese you like)
- 4 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Dash cayenne pepper
- In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Set the bacon aside to drain on paper towels and crumble when cooled. Drain most of the fat from the pan and add the shallot and garlic. Cook until translucent and lightly season with salt and pepper. Stir the bacon back in to the onion mixture and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot add the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter is half melted, add the flour and whisk to combine. When the butter is completely melted, add the milk and cook for 5-10 minutes until the mixture has reached the desired thickness.
- Add the cheese and a 1-3 dashes of cayenne to the bechamel you just made and stir until it has melted. Add the bacon and shallot mixture to the cheese sauce and stir until combined.
- Add the drained pasta to the cheese sauce and stir until the pasta is well coated. Top with black pepper and/or scallions if desired. Serves 2-3.