Macaroni and Cheese

The secret to a good mac ‘n cheese is the cheese. It needs to have an abundance of cheese flavor. This version delivers in spades with three cheeses including a Greek Kefalotiri.

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5 pieces bacon, crisped
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 cup diced sweet onion
2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
3 cups milk, room temperature
1 cup 35% cream
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground mustard powder
2 cups grated Cheddar
1 cup grated Asiago
1 cup grated Kefalotiri
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook bacon in a pan until crisp. Remove from bacon drippings, break it into smaller pieces and set it aside. In the bacon drippings add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the flour, absorbing all the drippings. Slowly add in 1 cup of the milk until the mixture forms a loose paste. Transfer the bacon dripping roux to a pot and mix in the remaining milk, cream, and spices.

Return the milk to low heat and, while continuously stirring, simmer until it starts to bubble. Once it begins bubbling, add the Cheddar and half of the Asiago and Kefalotiri. Continue to stir until all the cheese is incorporated and the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and set it aside.

In a pot with boiling water, cook the macaroni until al dente (approximately 10 minutes). Strain the pasta and add it to the prepared cheese mixture. Transfer all to a baking dish and cover with remaining cheeses and the bacon bits. Cook in a preheated oven for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. Serve warm.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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