Who doesn't like macaroni and cheese? Add a pork product and it's pretty much heaven. Top with a crispy bread product and in my feeble mind you have a complete meal! (ok there is a salad hiding somewhere in the background) Now would it completely shock you if I told you that The Ballplayer would rather eat macaroni and cheese out of a box? You shouldn't be shocked? The kid does have a love hate relationship with cheese. And I'm not sure if he was loving cheese on this particular day I made this dish (I have such a habit of posting months after I cook) but I am sure he complained and I had to convince him it came from a box. I could live off pasta. It is a comfort thing. It doesnt have to be dripping is cheese, but it helps. Pasta and I are definitely friends.
Bacon Macaroni & Cheese
2 cups Elbow macaroni (ok maybe they were heaping cups)
2 cups cheddar cheese (reserve 1 cup for topping
1 cup Parmesan grated (fresh)
1 cup jack cheese
3 TB butter
2 TB Flour (they were heaped)
1 clove garlic minced
2 cup whole milk
1 tsp dry mustard
7 pieces bacon cooked and chopped
1 cup croutons slightly broken
First things first! Butter a casserole pan. If I had individual dishes, (hint hint) those would be really nice for this.
Start water to boil for pasta and cook till al dente. Dont over cook since you will be cooking in the oven for a little bit. I have made the mistake of overcooking, let me tell you, the family eats it just fine, but try not to over cook it.
Bake bacon in oven till crispy. Never baked your bacon? Here are the instructions
In large sauce pan melt butter OVER MEDIUM HEAT, add garlic.
Do not burn garlic but let cook over med heat just for 30 seconds.
Add flour and let cook for a minute constantly stiring with a whisk.
Pour milk into a micro safe container. Micro for two minutes to warm.
While constantly stiring add milk to flour mixture.
Once milk has thickened enough to coat back of spoon (gravy like) add all but the one cup of cheddar and dry mustard.
Taste and make sure it doesn't need pepper.
Once cheese is completely melted. Resist the urge to grab a loaf of bread or bag of tortilla chips and abandon recipe (it happens) Add cooked pasta to the cheese sauce.
It might seem soupy but it will soak into the noodles perfectly.
Take bacon and crumble. Add bacon to the pot.
pour macaroni into buttered dish.
Top with remaining cheese.
Crumble croutons on top. Bake 350 for 25 minutes