The plan this last weekend was Lobster Macaroni and Cheese. However, we miscalculated the amount of lobster and ended up not having enough for the dish. Rather than scrap macaroni and cheese altogether, we used some thick maple smoked bacon and it turned out fantastic. I used extra sharp white cheddar and it really gave it a bite. It’s a creamy macaroni and cheese main or side dish with a great pairing of extra sharp white cheddar and maple smoked bacon.
This recipe is adapted from a similar recipe I found on Saveur, with some tweaks and changes for the addition of bacon.
Serve with a green salad and a glass of Cabernet or Sauvignon Blanc.
Makes 8-12 servings
12 ounces elbow macaroni
8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly grounded
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup low-fat sour cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup grated onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
10-12 strips thick maple smoked bacon, cooked and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
7 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Using non-stick spray, coat the bottom and sides of a 9″x13″ baking dish. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add elbow macaroni and cook halfway through, about 3-4 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to prepared baking pan. Stir in cubed cheddar cheese and set aside.
Combine flour, mustard, pepper, nutmeg and pepper in a large bowl. Add the sour cream and eggs and mix until smooth. Whisk in the cream, milk, onions and Worcestershire. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta mixture and add the bacon. Stir to evenly distribute the egg mixture and bacon. Sprinkle with the grated cheese evenly over top of pasta.
Bake until the pasta is set around the edges, and slightly golden, about 30 minutes (about 15 minutes for mini-cocottes). Let the pasta set for at least 10 minutes before serving (this will allow the cheese to thicken up).
This post was also featured in the Los Angeles Times Food Section: Daily Dish on January 06, 2011