This week has ended with a bang! Yesterday I found out that I am going to be a Grandmother for the first time!! I am over the moon happy and finding myself kicking into Grandma mode already. I have to stop myself from calling my son's fiance everyday to see how she is feeling, and if she has any food cravings that I can satisfy for her. I have already been scouring the internet for cute baby clothes, and picking through patterns for baby afghans to crotchet. Visions of cradling my baby boy's baby in my arms have me on the verge of tears multiple times a day.
So what does this Grandma to be do to calm the nervous excitement in her life?
Why cook of course!
I had a major craving for mac and cheese. Not only it is one of my comfort foods, but it also falls right in line with my desire to cram every carb I can find into my body right now. Ahhh the blessings of fall.
If you have been reading my blog you know I am a die hard mac and cheese girl. I try to turn just about everything into mac and cheese. There has been, , , , and a (which is just a fancy name for mac and cheese).
I am lucky that my family shares in my love of this gooey, cheesy, fabulousness because, well because I might have to get a new family if they didn't! And I have grown kind of attached to this one.
At the end of summer I kind of got a little hooked on BLTs. I mean, aside from your regular BLT sandwich, I made, , , and . The fresh tomatoes from my garden were put to good use as you can see, and we enjoyed every juicy. salty, crispy bite of these BLT inspired goodies!
So as my Grandma-to-be little heart fluttered, and my taste buds craved a pasta loaded meal, I remembered an episode of The Kitchen I watched a couple of weeks back and the mac and cheese that Geoffry Zacharian he cooked up on the show. I promptly hit the kitchen to raid my pantry and fridge for the ingredients I needed to cook up this drool inducing dish.
I made due with what I had and, even though it is not exactly the same as GZ's mac and cheese, I think it was a darned good version! Kevin and I gorged ourselves on it for dinner, and it served as a tasty *lunch addition for Kevin over the next couple of days.
1 year ago - Pumpkin BBQ Sauce
2 years ago - Pizza Balls
3 years ago - Pork with Chili Verde Tacos
BLT Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 1 large head lettuce, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 8 strips thick cut bacon, chopped
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk, warmed
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
- 1 15-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups Italian style bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Toss the lettuce with 2 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet until the lettuce is wilted, about 15 minutes, tossing the lettuce half way through. Set aside to cool.
- In a an oven-safe large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the fat renders and it begins to crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel, leaving 1/4 cup of fat in the pan. Add the flour and cook for a minute, making sure the flour and fat have completely combined. Slowly whisk in the warm milk and continue whisking until smooth. Continue to cook until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the mustard and remove from heat.
- Add the cheddar and Swiss cheese in small amounts to the pan, stirring to make sure it has completely melted before adding more, then add the nutmeg. Fold in the drained macaroni until it is evenly coated, then add the lettuce, tomatoes and bacon.
- Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat.
- Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.
Total time: 45 mins.
Tags: pasta, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, bacon, tomato, lettuce, Budget Meals, Main Dishes,
Slightly adapted from a recipe by Geoffry Zacharian
*Note - If reheating this in the microwave, add a bit of milk, cook for about a minute and half on high, stir and heat for an additional minute or so (times depend on the wattage of your microwave).