Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Southern Comfort

Its chilly, its damp, its time.....for Mac & Cheese.

Being an Italian who grew up in the South, there is a special place in my heart for both comfort food and pasta.

When the weather turns, I just can't ignore my hankering for this rich and luscious recipe.

I hope it wraps you up in a blanket of warm deliciousness......


Macaroni & Cheese with Bacon Crust

1/2 lb. pasta - any type you like
5 TBSP unsalted butter
4 TBSP Flour
3 Cups Whole Milk
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 TSP Dijon Mustard
3 Cups grated cheddar cheese
1/3 Cup Crumbled Bacon

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 2 QT baking dish and set aside. Cook pasta in well-salted boiling water until VERY al dente (5 minutes or so - it will cook further in the oven). Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well again and set aside.

Melt 5 TBSP butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk rapidly over medium heat for a couple of minutes to cook the flour and smooth the mixture (be careful not to let it burn).


Gradually add in milk, whisking constantly until thick and smooth, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, Dijon mustard and cheese - stir well.

Add cooked pasta to buttered dish...


Add cheese sauce to pasta, stir to coat...


Top with sprinkling (or two) of crumbled bacon.


Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes - then broil to brown the top.


You're done!


NOTES:

You can use a combination of any good melting cheese
- Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Fontina, Gruyere, Velveeta (Hey, I'm no snob!)

The bacon topping can be replaced with bread crumbs
- Mix some Panko breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over mac& cheese before baking for a fabulously crunchy crust.

Monday, November 1, 2010

And the Winner Is.......


The winner of our Halloween give-away, chosen at random, is Amy S.

Congrats, Amy! You'll be receiving a bag of our Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread, baked and dipped especially for you.

Thanks to everyone for participating!