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WARNING: This is not healthy. Not even a little bit. It is, however, ideal comfort food. Enjoy.
You like mac’n’cheese, right? Who doesn’t? Mac’n’cheese from scratch is one of the things I can actually cook – and cook well! (I’m not much of a chef, but I make some mean mac’n’cheese, I’m just saying. It’s super cheesy, and creamy, and oh so yummy.)
What’s better than mac’n’cheese?
With panko and parmesan topping.
And BACON INSIDE.
Comfort Mac n Cheese (with Bacon.)
Step 1: Cook 8 ounces (about two cups) of small elbows noodles and 1/2 tsp salt in boiling water until al dente.
Drain, rinse, return to pot. (At this point, turn your oven on to preheat to 350 degrees.)
Step 2: Meanwhile: cook 2 (or 3) slices of bacon.
Get it nice and crispy all the way through. Not just because pork needs to be thoroughly cooked but because the crispier, the tastier, and we are talking about comfort food, right?
Step 3: Add 1 Tbsp butter and stir until melted; add 2 Tbsp flour and stir to coat until it just clumps on the pasta.
Step 4: Add 2 Tbsp milk, 3 slices of american cheese (torn into fourths,) 1 ounce cream cheese, and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar.
Turn heat to low, and stir until cheese is melted (adding 2Tbsp milk at a time when necessary – keep stirring and keep adding milk to keep pasta/cheese from sticking to the bottom.)
Step 5: Crumble the bacon and stir it in, add salt and pepper to taste.
Oh, one more thing, stir in a tablespoon of that bacon grease from cooking that bacon. OH YES. I WENT THERE.
Step 6: Make sure your mac has enough “sauce.”
If necessary, add a little more milk at this point to make sure your mac’n’cheese is good and saucy. It’s going to cook out a little while baking and we don’t want it too dry!
Step 7: Spread your cheesy, saucy, mac’n’cheese into a baking dish.
(Preferably not a pie plate, unless of course, that’s all you have. *Ahem* But ideally, something like this.)
Step 8: Mix 1/2 cup panko crumbs and 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese in a bowl and sprinkle across the top of the mac’n’cheese evenly.
You can stop at any point, or if you like extra crunchies, go ahead and use the entire half cup.
Step 9: Bake at 350 for ten minutes, and then switch the oven to broiler (on low if you have a choice) for one minute.
Truly ONE minute. Do not walk away, keep an eye on those panko crumbs! We want them ever so slightly golden brown. Remove from oven.
Step 10: Serve hot. Eat. Enjoy.
Doesn’t that just look delicious? The picture doesn’t even do it justice. Imagine curling up with a bowl of hot, creamy, crunchy, bacony mac’n’cheese on a cool fall day – one of those first chilly days where you get to pull out one of your favorite sweaters and warm, fuzzy slippers. Sounds just about perfect, right?
Tell me, what’s your favorite kind of comfort food on a chilly day?