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Southwestern Mac & Cheese
|2||cups||Ditalini Pasta (dry measure)|
|1||lb||Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese|
|1||lb||Itallian Fontina Cheese|
|8||oz||Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese|
|1||tsp||Fresh Ground Pepper|
|2||cups||Panko Bread Crumbs|
|4||oz||Unsalted Butter (clarified)|
|8||lg||Fresh Basil Leaves|
Cook macaroni as usual and set aside.
Grill bacon until well done but not burnt, drain and blot. Strain bacon grease to remove particulates and place bacon grease in a 4½ quart (or larger) pan. Chop shallots fine and saute using the bacon grease.
When the shallots are almost done add flour and stir until you get a blonde roué. Then add the salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, pressed garlic, heavy cream and milk.
Once the sauce is back up to temperature, add the chopped/grated Cheddar, Fontina and Gruyère to sauce and stir until melted and thoroughly mixed. Combine the sauce, chopped bacon and macaroni in a shallow lasagna/casserole dish.
In a separate bowl mix the panko, Parmigiano and butter together thoroughly. Coat top of mac & cheese mixture completely. Broil until top has patches of GBD.
Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh chopped basil, cilantro or parsley over the top.
Goes well topped with a good spicy sausage cut into coins and seared.