MAC & CHEESE RECIPE
Nothing completes a crisp Autumn day in New England day like coming home to piping hot mac & cheese. This recipe is definitely on top of my list…the sweetness of the baby peas, the salty smoked bacon, the sampling of both imported & local kinds of cheese & the buttery pop of crunch on top….can I hear you say Yum? Your taste buds will be doing cartwheels… This is tried & true & even the most un-peas-iest kids will love it.
Mac 'N Cheese (a la Yum)
Cook the bacon in heavy sauce pan until crispy, set aside on paper towel. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings.
Add onion (or shallots) to drippings & cook until translucent. Add garlic & sautee 1 additional minute.
Putting on medium-low heat, stir in flour. Gradually whisk in heavy cream & milk. Bring sauce to a simmer; about 10 minutes.
Gradually add all grated cheeses to sauce, stirring to blend.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling water. After 8 minutes, add the peas & cook until pasta is al dente (tender but very firm to the bite).
Crumble bacon & stir in cheese sauce.
Mix cheese sauce with pasta & peas. Stir in fresh parsley. Season with salt & pepper.
Butter a 13X9 baking dish & pour in pasta mixture.
In a small mixing bowl, combine panko crumbs, reserved parmesan & melted butter until lightly coated. Sprinkle on top of pasta mixture.
Broil until golden brown, about two minutes.
Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley.
~When making the roux, I use my favorite cheapo plastic angled spatula. It thoroughly sweeps the bottom of the pan & prevents sticking & clumping.
~Why chop fresh garlic? Peel & trim the ends of the cloves. Lay on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap & smash the hell out of it. I use my favorite marble rolling pin & it works out fabulously.
~And why chop herbs? My kitchen shears are my best friend. I'm not sure why TV chefs tend to chop away, but clipping is so much easier & it achieves the same goal. I know cutting leafy foods as opposed to tearing causes brownage, but I have never had this problem with fresh herbs . Maybe one of my blogger chef friends will enlighten me, but in the meantime, I heart my snips.
By WUUUSAA MAMA
ITEMS WE USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE