Barefoot Bloggers – Grown Up Mac & Cheese

by Jessica on September 11, 2008

Grown Up Mac & Cheese

This week’s Barefoot Bloggers recipe was Grown Up Mac & Cheese. I got really excited until I clicked onto Food Network’s site and read the ingredients. One, I’m not a fan of bacon unless it’s burned… almost to the point of disintegration. 🙂 Two, I don’t like any stinky cheeses… like the Gruyere or Blue Cheese that’s called for below. So, now, without those three ingredients, it’s not really “Grown Up” anymore, is it?

Grown Up Mac & Cheese 2

It was tasty, but the next time I make it I’m definitely adding a tent of foil half way through the baking time, since the top noodles were crunchy when I took it out of the oven. Overall, pretty good… even if it wasn’t all that “Grown Up”. 😉

Chosen by Heather of Randomosity and the Girl, I give you Ina’s Grown Up Mac & Cheese…

Grown Up Mac & Cheese 3

Grown Up Mac & Cheese
Source: Ina Garten

4 oz thick-sliced bacon (omitted)
Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
2 c elbow macaroni or cavatappi
1-1/2 c milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 oz Gruyere cheese, grated (omitted)
3 oz extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (doubled)
2 oz blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled (omitted)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
2 tbsp freshly chopped basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the pan carefully from the oven – there will be hot grease in the pan! Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well. Pour into 2 individual size gratin dishes.

Place the bread slices in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Add the basil and pulse to combine. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Grown Up Mac & Cheese 4

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Suzie September 11, 2008 at 1:00 am

Grown-up or not – yours still looked really good! Wish I had some now. I pulled mine out of the oven early for the same reason – just getting too done on top.


2 nbbride06 September 11, 2008 at 1:40 am

It still looks good…but the bacon was wonderful!


3 Jenn September 11, 2008 at 8:00 am

This looks so good. It gets a star in my reader!


4 Joelen September 11, 2008 at 8:56 am

I’m totally digging the types of cheese in this! Looks fabulous as usual 🙂


5 Ms.___2 be! September 11, 2008 at 9:13 am

I don’t really like mac and cheese but that looks really yummie.


6 Amy (Sing for your supper) September 11, 2008 at 9:34 am

I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time! I’m the same way about the blue cheese, though – I don’t know if I would want to leave it in either! 🙂


7 Suze September 11, 2008 at 10:21 am

oh my goodness…that looks and sounds fantastic..I think mac and cheese is my all time favorite food!


8 The Cat's Pajamas September 11, 2008 at 4:38 pm

I’m not so grown up either. Just a little nutty about that much cheese in one place… because inevitably, it ends up on my hips.


9 Erin September 11, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Looks yummy with changes. How can you ruin a dish like this? It almost invites playing around, since you know it’s going to be food no matter what.


10 Christine September 11, 2008 at 5:50 pm

We loved the bacon in this recipe and even added more! Your changes look so yummy good job!


11 Cathy September 11, 2008 at 7:40 pm

It looks wonderful! I am thinking that some things are just not meant to grow up. Perhaps mac n cheese is one of them. Great pictures!


12 debinhawaii September 11, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Even with the changes it looks and sounds delicious! Not something to eat often but good! 😉


13 Rebecca September 11, 2008 at 9:52 pm

“Grown Up” in this case was overrated. 😉


14 Amber September 14, 2008 at 10:04 am

This looks fan-freaking tastic!!


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