My version of grownup Macaroni and Cheese will make the kid in you jump for joy! It is rich, creamy, loaded with smoky Gruyère cheese, bacon, and topped with fresh bread crumbs.
Sunday, it’s a wonderful day and also a day I don’t look forward to for a couple of reasons. First, it means tomorrow is a workday and the weekend is over. Second, it means I have a ton of laundry to separate, fold, and put away. Laundry is definitely at the top of my list of things I wish I never had to do. Remember when you were little and you never had to think about clothes, they were just there ready. Ah, those were the days!
To make my laundry task go by faster and be a little bit more enjoyable, I like to close the door and catch up on TV shows. I have lots of DVDs waiting to be watched. I actually like watching a show all at once rather than waiting each week for the next episode. I can’t stand a cliffhanger! I want to know now! I guess you could say I’m impatient 😀 Speaking of I want to know and not liking cliffhangers…I just finished the last season of Dexter. I know, I know I’m really behind. But, what is up with that ending?!!
I think we all have at least one guilty pleasure, right? I have a long list of guilty pleasures. Afternoon naps and watching hours of DVDs are a couple of mine (that I’m willing to share ;D). I always feel like a kid caught with my hand in the cookie jar when someone walks into the room.
Eating macaroni and cheese is another one of my guilty pleasures. Its rich and creamy taste makes me feel like I shouldn’t be eating it. Then, one bite and I can’t stop. That is exactly what this Gruyère Macaroni and Cheese will do to you!
You start off by making a roux for this macaroni and cheese. A roux is very simply a blend of equal amounts of flour and fat, which is used to thicken a sauce. I begin by melting some butter in a pan and then stirring in some flour. I season the mixture with salt and pepper. Cook the mixture for a few minutes to cook off the flour taste. Then, I slowly add milk to create the sauce. Cook the sauce until thickened.
Next you combine the hot, drained cooked pasta with the sauce. Stir in the cheese to melt and toss in some bacon. Just look at creamy sauce! It’s delicious just like this!
Now to elevate this dish. Top it with some fresh breadcrumbs, then toast in the oven for a few minutes and this dish becomes extraordinary!
I love using shell shaped pasta for macaroni and cheese. Those little shells are like cups, holding on to the creamy, smoky, cheesy sauce.
I also love Smoked Gruyère cheese! If you haven’t tried it, I think you should 😀 It has a creamy texture with a slightly nutty, smoky taste. I think it makes everything taste even better.
Don’t you just want a bite?!
- 2 cups medium shell noodles, cooked
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1½ cup 0% fat milk
- 4 oz smoked Gruyère cheese, shredded
- 3 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 slices bacon, cooked and diced
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Place bread in a food processor and process into crumbs, set aside.
- In a large skillet melt butter over medium low heat. Once it is melted, whisk in flour. Continue whisking until it comes together. Add salt and pepper.
- Slowing whisk in milk a little at a time to prevent lumps. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Cook on low for 3-4 minutes, or until thickened.
- Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the pot.
- Add the cream mixture and shredded cheese, stir until cheese is melted.
- Add bacon and stir.
- Transfer macaroni and cheese into individual dishes and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
- Place in oven (350 degrees) and heat just until crumbs are toasted, about 4 minutes.