Bacon-Kissed Mac ‘n Cheese

dressed up bacon mac n cheese 1_small
There is something in the water in my neck of the woods because mamas are popping out babies all the time. I go in phases with the meals I bring them — for a while I was making this Kid’s Favorite Stir Fry and before that this Farmer’s Market Lasagna. Now, I’m totally in this Dressed Up Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese phase, mostly because I want to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I started making it because I remembered how hungry I was after having all three of my kids. The nursing, lack of sleep, taking care of the other kids really did me in and I don’t think I’ve ever been so ravenous as those first few weeks post-baby. So while this mac n cheese isn’t the heart-healthiest meal, it is the most comforting — and what new mama doesn’t need comfort?

And if you don’t make this for someone else? Make it for yourself.

p.s. You can assemble this completely and refrigerate 24 hours until ready to bake. Just bring to room temp before baking (or add additional bake time to account for the cold.) You can also double this and bake in a 9×13. When I bring it to someone I include a garden salad and some pumpkin bread :-)

Bacon-Kissed Mac ‘n Cheese

Bacon-Kissed Mac ‘n Cheese

Ingredients

8 ounces macaroni

2 1/2 cups cold milk, divided

2 large eggs

2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

3 slices white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces

12 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese

6 strips bacon

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Kosher salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart shallow casserole dish. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain; transfer the pasta to the prepared casserole dish along with 1/4 cup of the cold milk. (This will cool the pasta and prevent it from becoming gummy.)

To make the topping, beat the eggs with 1/4 cup of the milk in a medium bowl. Add the scallions, bread and half of the cheese to the egg mixture; set aside.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings from the pan. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until just brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon salt; cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk and 3/4 cup water to the skillet. Bring to a boil, whisking until thick. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk to cool slightly. Whisk in the remaining cheese. Add the sauce to the macaroni; stir to combine.

Crumble up the bacon and add it to the egg/bread mixture. Spread evenly over the pasta. Place the casserole dish on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven; let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6.

http://sugarmamacooks.com/bacon-kissed-mac-n-cheese/

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