Who doesn’t love a comfort food like mac and cheese, especially now that the autumn weather is really setting in.
My mac and cheese has some smoked cheese and bacon to add a lovely depth of flavor. I love about any smoked food anyway.
Fox Pines Ultimate Mac and Cheese
½ c butter
½ c flour
1 medium onion, diced
4 cups of milk
4 ½ c shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided (smoked if you have it!)
2 ½ c shredded smoked Gouda cheese, divided
5-6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 /2 tsp salt
¼ tsp chili powder (smoked works great – I use Santa Fe or Ancho chili powder)
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
1 16 ox package of elbow macaroni, cooked
If you haven’t cooked the bacon or cooked the macaroni, do that first. I don’t always read all the way through the recipe either. Grate the cheese and dice the onion too.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large (like the biggest one you have) cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion, cooking for 3-4 minutes until tender.
Add the flour, and whisk together. Whisk constantly until it just starts to turn brown. I don’t let mine get very dark.
Add the milk, continuing to whisk and stir until the milk starts to thicken. It can take a few minutes. Do not let it scorch or start sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
Add about 4 cups of the cheddar cheese and 2 cups of Gouda. Also stir in the bacon, mustard, parsley, salt pepper and nutmeg. Stir it all around until the cheese melts.
Put in the pasta and stir carefully. – the skillet is really full now! Top with the remaining shredded cheddar and Gouda.
Bake until browned and bubbly – 30 minutes or so.
This makes a lot of mac and cheese – great for a family gathering, dinner buffet, or be prepared to have leftovers all week.
That works for me! What is your favorite mac and cheese recipe?