Big Boy Mac & Cheese
Geoffry Le Cher
... and besides, bacon makes it better!
This is one of our table's favorite comfort foods.
6 slicethick-sliced bacon
2 celbow macaroni
2 Tbspunsalted butter
2 Tbspall-purpose flour
4 ozgruyere cheese, grated
6 ozextra-sharp cheddar, grated
4 ozblue cheese, such as roquefort, crumbled
1/4 tspfreshly ground black pepper
pinchfresh ground nutmeg
2 Tbspfreshly chopped basil leaves
1/2 cpanko bread crumbs
2 Tbspunsalted melted butter
How to Make Big Boy Mac & Cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the pan carefully from the oven - there will be hot grease in the pan! (Reserve 3 tablespoons of this grease!)
Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle.
Drizzle bacon grease into a large pot of boiling salted water.
Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk.
While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add all the Gruyere, half of the Cheddar, half of the blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Add the cooked macaroni, 3/4 of the basil and the crumbled bacon and fold gently.
Pour 1/3 into lightly greased gratin dish. Layer with 1/2 of the remaining blue and Cheddar cheese.
Add another 1/3 of the mixture into a gratin.
Layer with remaining blue and Cheddar cheese and add the remaining noodle mixture.
Sprinkle panko over the top of the pasta and drizzle remaining melted butter over the top.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
Allow to cool for 3-5 minutes, garnish with remaining basil and serve.