Stove Top BLT Mac & Cheese
I was asked to contribute to Wisconsin Cheese’s 30 Days 30 Ways with Macaroni and Cheese, and boy am I glad I did. Thirty food bloggers putting their twist on a classic dish in the form of macaroni and cheese. How could you go wrong? (You can’t.)
I don’t make macaroni and cheese very often. Not because I don’t love it but because I do love it. Maybe a little too much. I always end up eating more than I’d like (or need) so I kind of try to avoid the temptation. It seems lately that I only ever make mac and cheese at a clients request. And then, it’s always a baked version so I can make it ahead of time and heat just before serving. A caterers best friend I tell you.
This being my first attempt at a stove top mac and cheese (aside from Kraft, of course), it was a smashing success. Difficult to know if it was the arugula, roasted tomatoes, and crispy peppered bacon swimming in melted provolone and asiago cheeses or the fact that we’d spent the day on the slopes snowboarding, building up a ravenous appetite. For the sake of tooting my own horn, I’m going to go with bacon swimming in melted cheese.
To see all the macaroni and cheese recipes and a chance to win a Wisconsin cheese basket and mac and cheese cookbook, visit them here.
Happy Monday everyone!Print
- 10 ounces fusilli or similar pasta
- 8 ounces thick-cut peppered bacon
- 1/4 cup shallots (about 2 small), diced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin Provolone Cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin Asiago Cheese, shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon dry powdered mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) fresh arugula, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup roasted or sun-dried tomatoes
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well; set aside.
- In heavy bottomed skillet, fry bacon over medium heat until well done and crisp. Remove from skillet to drain on paper towel. When cool enough to handle, crumble and set aside.
- Drain all but 2 tablespoons bacon grease from skillet. Heat grease over medium heat; add shallots. Cook until soft and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly, until mixture is golden, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring sauce to boil; reduce heat and let simmer, stirring frequently, until smooth and thickened, about 10 minutes. Add shredded cheeses, stirring until melted. Add dry mustard and salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove sauce from heat and stir in arugula and cooked noodles. Stir in all but handful tomatoes and bacon. Divide mac and cheese between 6-8 bowls. Garnish with reserved bacon and tomatoes; serve immediately.