Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Four Cheese Mac & Cheese

I have always wanted to try and make a mac and cheese but just never did. Well, when I came across this recipe my time had come. Yeah I know it probably isn't the most healthiest dish but if you only eat it once in a while it isn't too bad... The only piece of advice I would give when making this recipe is choosing your baking dish wisely. I had some family over so had this really pretty oval 9x13 pan I used. However, once the mac & cheese spread along the bottom of the 9x13 pan it was only about an inch deep. So once the mac & cheese was baked it was not as moist as I hoped. Next time I make this recipe I will use more of a 9x9 or so pan. Also, I will learn how to make a bread crumb type crust for the top of it. Overall this was a great recipe and definitely a keeper!

Four Cheese with Bacon
Serves 12

1 box (1 pound) cavatappi
6 slices bacon, diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup shredded colby-Jack cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
8 slices Kraft Deli Deluxe American cheese (6 ounces) (You can use any brand of deli cheese)

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 3-quart broiler-safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling. Cook cavatappi 8 minutes in boiling water, then drain. Meanwhile, in medium-size saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Carefully pour off drippings, returning 2 tablespoons to pan. Add butter. Whisk in flour until smooth. In a thin stream, whisk in milk. Stir in onion flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. In large bowl, toss together cheddar, colby-Jack and mozzarella. Remove milk mixture from heat; whisk in American cheese and 1 1/4 cups of the cheddar mixture. Toss bacon pieces with remaining shredded cheese. In pasta pot, combine cooked pasta and cheese sauce. Pour half into prepared dish. Sprinkle with a generous cup of the bacon-cheese mixture. Repeat layering. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil and broil 3 minutes, until top is lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving.

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