Mac' N Cheese with Bacon and Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 8 slice
- thick sliced maple flavored bacon (cooked & cut in half). *see note, below on cooking bacon.)
- 1 box
- (7 oz.) kraft original flavor macaroni & cheese dinner -prepared
- 1 jar(s)
- (2 oz.) diced pimentos, drained.
- 1 can(s)
- (14.5 oz) diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained. i use muir glen.
- 1 oz
- sharp cheddar cheese, cut in cubes (from a block of cheese)
- salt & pepper to taste
In the Oven: No mess; no bacon spitting hot grease at your face are on your clothes. No turning required (although I do flip it once when it is half-way done.); and no uneven cooking. Heat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil; turn up the edges slightly to make sure the grease stays in the pan; place bacon strips on the baking sheet. It’s OK if they touch each other but they should not overlap. For crispier bacon (This is the way I like it!), place on oven-safe baking rack on top of the baking sheet and then place the bacon strips on top of it. Bake bacon for 15-20 minutes on the middle rack. Cook time will vary depending on the oven and the thickness of the bacon, but it will be golden and crisp when it’s done. For thin-cut bacon, start checking it at 12 minutes to make sure it does not burn. With medium or thick-cut, start checking at 15 minutes. Prepare a plate lined with paper towels. Using tongs, remove bacon right away and place each strip on the paper towels.
In the Microwave: This method uses a lot of paper towels. But, you get easy clean-up, zero splattering, and safer handling of the bacon with several layers of bacon, and with different amounts of paper towels. The bacon becomes crispy in just a few minutes while also being entirely hands off and about as mess-free as bacon can be. The paper towels absorb all the extra fat, so your microwave doesn't get splattered and clean-up is as easy as throwing the paper towels in the trash.
On the Stove: Bacon should be started in a cold pan, so before you turn on the heat, lay out your strips on the pan. You can place them so they are touching and crowd the pan a little as the bacon will shrink as it cooks but do not overlap too much. Cook bacon low and slow. Keep turning the bacon, so that it browns evenly. When done, let the cooked bacon drain onto paper towels.