Tuesday, November 23

It's a "Mac 'N Cheese"-Off, People!!

yum-oNow, don't get it twisted.

But Toni Ryan can cook.

It's just that I often choose not to, because I much prefer eating than preparing. And I only ever seem to prepare really elaborate dishes, so the thought of cooking tires me out.

I've been hard-core craving a kick-ass dish of MAC 'N CHEESE lately. Maybe it's the time of the year, I don't know. It's all I think about, and probably even more so since earlier this month when I was sitting in a waiting room and stumbled across this article in Family Circle full of "new" Macaroni & Cheese recipes.

Oh... and the pictures... so delicious-looking... so rich... and then you flip to the recipes...


But alas, thank you Google, for I found the recipes, and I'm posting this one that I'm gonna try out over Thanksgiving....

Four Cheese with Bacon Mac

1 box (1 pound) cavatappi
6 slices bacon, diced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2 percent 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)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 3-quart broiler-safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Remove milk mixture from heat; whisk in American cheese and 11/4 cups of the cheddar mixture. Toss bacon pieces with remaining shredded cheese.
5. 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.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil and broil 3 minutes, until top is lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving.

HOW ABOUT... let's have a virtual MAC'N'CHEESE-OFF!

Think your Mac & Cheese recipe is The Best? Then let's see it!

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