BLT Mac and Cheese

Posted by Lindsey On 3:05 PM

After seeing this on Joelen's blog awhile back, I knew we had to try it. Last week when I was really craving something with bacon I decided to finally try this recipe. I am glad we did because it turned out to be so tasty! The bacon and leeks really make this superb mac and cheese!!

BLT Mac and Cheese
from Joelen



Ingredients
5 cups water
1 lb. uncooked macaroni, farfalle, or rotini pasta
8 slices of bacon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup half & half
7 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
5 oz. shredded monterey jack & colby cheese blend
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 medium leek (white and green portions only)
2 large plum tomatoes
1/2 cup panko Japanese breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Chopped chives for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To start pasta mixture, bring water to a boil in 8-qt. stockpot. Cook the dried pasta according to package directions and place cooked pasta in a large bowl; set aside.

Meanwhile, cut up bacon in small pieces and place into a hot skillet; cook over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet, leaving drippings in the pan, to paper towel-lined plate to drain then place in the large bowl. Set skillet aside with bacon drippings.

Slice leek in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/2-in. slices. Place into a small bowl and rinse with cold water to remove dirt; lift leeks out of water and saute in the skillet with bacon drippings. Cook, uncovered, just until it softens up and place in the large bowl.

Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise; remove cores and scrape out seeds. Dice tomatoes and place in the large bowl.

In a sauce pan, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Once it's completely melted, add 1 tablespoon flour and stir to combine for a roux. Allow the roux to come to a boil for a minute and then slowly stir in the half & half. Allow the half & half to come to a simmer as it thickens to create a bechamel sauce. Once it thickens up to coat the back of the spoon heavily, turn off the heat. Carefully stir in the cheeses until melted and you have a consistent cheese sauce. Add the garlic powder and salt/pepper to taste.

Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and other ingredients in the large bowl. Stir to combine and transfer the pasta into a casserole dish.

Combine the panko breadcrumbs and olive oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle this on top of the casserole dish for a nice crunchy topping. Bake the mac and cheese in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and the top has browned slightly. Serve immediately.

1 Response to "BLT Mac and Cheese"

  1. Joelen Said,

    Yay! Glad you liked it! It certainly is a nice twist and everything is better with bacon! :)