From Chef Erich – I found this recipe for mac and cheese from Southern Living. It sounded like it would be really good but it needed a little more kick. So I added bacon and a smokey cheese to push it over the top. This recipe is great with barbeque. If you bring it to a party it will be a hit.
- 16 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta or elbow macaroni, you want a variety that will hold the cheese
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- ⅓ cup grated yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 ½ cups milk
- 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 ounces extra-sharp yellow Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup), plus 3 oz. diced (about 1 cup), divided
- 3 ounces sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded, (about 1 cup), plus 3 oz. diced (about 1 cup), divided
- 3 ounces smoked Cheddar or Gouda cheese, shredded, (about 1 cup), plus 3 oz. diced (about 1 cup), divided
- 1.25 lbs of thick-cut smoked bacon cooked and chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare pasta according to package directions for al dente.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium. Add the next 6 ingredients; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add flour, and cook, stirring, until golden, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, whisking, until slightly thickened, 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat; stir in 2/3 cup each of shredded Cheddar cheeses until melted. (Reserve remaining 1/4 cup each of shredded cheeses.) Stir in pasta and diced cheeses and bacon and pour into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.
- Bake on a rimmed baking sheet in preheated oven until bubbly and golden, 30 minutes. Remove from oven; increase oven temperature to broil. Sprinkle with reserved shredded cheeses; broil 6 inches from heat until the cheeses are melted and golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven; cool slightly on a wire rack, for about 15 minutes.
Make It Ahead: Prepare through Step 2 up to 1 day in advance; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before proceeding with Step 3.