December 29, 2012

Crunchy Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

For years, I have tried to create a recipe for the perfect Macaroni and Cheese. Well, finally my friends, I did it! This recipe is creamy, cheesy, crunchy, and savory! Everything you want in the perfect Mac and Cheese. I made it for our holiday party and then again for Christmas dinner and it was a hit everyone: kids and adults. Hope you enjoy as much as we did! 
This recipe feeds a lot! Great for parties, potlucks, or family gatherings! 
About 12-14 servings.
Ingredients:
  • 16 oz. macaroni pasta
  • 6 tablespoons butter, plus 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  •  1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 5 cups milk
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mixed cheese (I used Mexican style)
  • 8 slices bacon (add a spicy kick with peppered bacon)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
Directions: 
  1. Boil the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pan you boiled it in.    Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Over medium heat, melt the 6 tablespoons butter.
  4. Add the flour, salt, dry mustard, pepper, and paprika. Stir constantly over medium heat for about three minutes.
  5. Stir in the milk.
  6. Keeping on medium heat, whisk constantly for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  7. While the sauce cooks, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain and chop into small pieces.  Set aside.
  8. Remove from heat, and stir in 4 cups of the cheese, stirring until melted.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and toss gently until all noodles are covered.
  10. Add the noodles to a large casserole dish, about 9X13.
  11. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on pasta, then cover with bacon crumbles.
  12. Bake for about 25 minutes, until it is bubbly and lightly browned. Remove from oven and turn on broiler to low.
  13. In a small bowl mix panko and the 4 tablespoons melted butter. 
  14. Sprinkle topping over mac and cheese and broil until the panko is browned                            and crunchy, about 2-3 minutes.
  15. Remove from oven and enjoy!
Lots of cheese and milk make this delicious gooey sauce.
Cook the pasta until al dente, according to the package.

Bacon makes everything better!
Make the crunchy panko topping by mixing melted butter and 1 cup panko together 
then sprinkling it on top. To get the golden brown color make sure you put the Mac and Cheese under the broiler for a few minutes after it is done cooking.
Take the Mac and Cheese out of the oven and add the panko topping.
Cook under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until golden.
Perfect! Crunchy, Cheesy, and Delicious!
Grab a fork and enjoy!

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