Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bacon and Broccoli Mac'n'Cheese

Since it was my brother’s birthday, I asked him what he wanted me to make for him. His answer: MAC AND CHEESE! Immediately followed by my mom saying “add broccoli, he needs veggies!” Reluctantly, I added some broccoli to the dish but it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. I think the bacon had something to do with it! I just love love love this mac’n’cheese and if I could pick only one meal to eat over and over for the rest of my life, it would be this one (Minus the broccoli, of course!).

4 Cups of Macaroni
2 Broccoli crowns cut into small bite sized pieces, steamed
5 Slices of thick Bacon, chopped
3 Tbsp. of Flour
2 Cups of Milk, at room temperature
1½ Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1½ Cup of Grated Sharp Cheddar
½ Cup of Panko Breadcrumbs
¼ Cup of Parmesan
Salt and Pepper

1. Cook the macaroni 8 minutes, or until almost cooked, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.
2. Fry the bacon bits in a saucepan on medium high heat until nice and crispy. Remove the bacon bits, leaving as much of the bacon fat in the saucepan.
3. Add the flour to the fat and whisk until evenly pasty. Slowly add the milk while whisking. Let the sauce thicken a bit while adding the milk. (If you add the milk too quickly, the sauce will curdle in a weird non-creamy way)
4. Once the sauce is thick and all the milk has been added, add the mustard, and some salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, slowly add some more milk in until you’ve reached a consistency you’re happy with.
5. Add the grated cheese to the sauce. Stir while it melts.
6. Once the cheese sauce is melted, add the bacon bits and broccoli.
7. In a large bowl, mix together the macaroni and the sauce until it is evenly mixed. Pour into a casserole dish.
8. Mix the Panko and Parmesan together, and sprinkle evenly over the macaroni.
9. Cook in a 425-degree oven for 20 Minutes, or until crispy golden brown.
10. Let sit a few minutes before serving.

Bon Appetit!

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