In light of my recent giveaway where I asked readers what their favorite recipes were, I decided to re-post one of my personal favorites.
Last April, I adapted Cooks Illustrated's 'Classic Macaroni & Cheese' to include two of Mr. Vittles favorite foods - pepperjack cheese and bacon.
Truthfully, I've never really shared his adoration for these two ingredients, but I must admit - this mac & cheese is... amazing.
Sorry to toot my own horn, but it's the truth.
Whenever we have macaroni & cheese somewhere else now, we both say "Meh. It's no pepperjack bacon."
Yes. Much like my brownie snobbery, we've become M&C connoisseurs.
(By the way - I typed the word "connoisseur" 4 times before the red squiggly underline telling me I spelled it wrong disappeared.)
Anywho... I originally posted about this back when I first started Vittles and Bits. Since then, I've cut down on the amount of cheese sauce made, because I think it made the dish too soupy. I like my mac & cheese to have a bit more structure.
And let's face it - the only people that read my blog then were friends or family members.
Not to mention, the original picture I posted was god-awful.
(I've already replaced it. Despite trying to educate myself, I haven't progressed much with my food photography - but the old one simply didn't do this dish justice.)
So in short - I just had to call the recipe to your attention. It deserves the spotlight for a day.
Yeah... it's that good.
Pepperjack Bacon Mac & Cheese
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 1 T. salt
- 3 T. butter
- 3 T. flour
- 3/4 t. ground mustard
- 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 t. garlic powder
- 2 1/2 C. milk
- 8 oz. pepperjack cheese, grated
- 8 strips of bacon, crumbled or chopped in small pieces
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 C. panko bread crumbs
In now empty pot, melt butter over medium heat until foaming.
Add flour, mustard, cayenne & garlic powder and whisk well to combine. Continue whisking about 1 minute, until fragrant.
Gradually whisk in milk about a cup at a time, then bring mixture to a boil while whisking constantly. (This is important - mixture must reach a boil to thicken fully).
Then reduce heat to medium & simmer, whisking occasionally, until consistency becomes that of heavy cream (about 5 minutes).
Remove from heat and whisk in cheese, salt & bacon. Add drained pasta and return whole pot to burner over medium low, stirring mixture until steaming & heated through (5-6 minutes).
Transfer mixture to a broiler-safe, greased 9x13" pan and sprinkle panko on top. Place in broiler on middle/lower rack and broil 3-5 minutes until crumbs are browned.
Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Adapted from Cook's Illustrated's "Classic Macaroni & Cheese"