August 13, 2012

3 cheese baked mac & cheese

This is one of my favorite meals, and one we come back to time and again.  I can't remember where I originally found the recipe...I wish I could so I could give them credit.  I have it written down on a note card, so it was probably something I found online. 

It's a bit pricey to make, because you have to use 3 different types of fine cheese.  It's definitely worth it though, every now and then.  And you only end up using about half of each of these cheeses, so you could make it twice if you want.

1 lb. elbow macaroni (I always use something other than elbow, because I prefer organic wheat pasta.  Use whatever you want.)
1 lb. bacon (try fake sometime!  even if you're not a vegetarian, spare an animal for a night; since it's mixed in, you can't tell that much of a difference.:)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. Gouda cheese, grated
1/2 lb. smokey Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup organic half & half
2 Tbsp. flour
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 bunches green onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
3 Roma tomatoes (I don't use these)
1-2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 large white onion
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cook macaroni according to box.  In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp, remove from pan.  Crumble and set aside. 
Using 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, saute onion, garlic, green onion, and red bell pepper.  Add Tabasco sauce and stir lightly.  Whisk in flour and allow to cook 2-3 minutes.  Whisk in half & half.  Cook over medium/high heat until half & half begins to bubble, but not boil.  Reduce to medium heat. 
Add Gouda and Cheddar; stir until creamy and melted.  Reduce heat to low and add bacon. 
Allow to simmer until noodles are ready.  Drain pasta, and put in glass baking dish (I usually use an 8 x 8 pan, and it fills it to the top).  Pour cheese over noodles.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes or till crusty and brown.  Top with tomatoes and serve.

This recipe is great because it's super versatile.  Feel free to leave something out, or add something, depending on your taste.  Try adding mushrooms or olives, or leaving out the onions (but why would you do that?! :).


What good recipes have you tired lately?  Feel free to leave comments and recipes below.  Have a good day!

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