You know how sometimes you come across a recipe that just totally blows any and all of your expectations out of the water? Something you think could be – ehh, pretty good – but turns out to be absolutely out of this world?
Yes…that would be this recipe right heeeeere.
I actually have Jay to thank for initiating this delicious dish, after seeing it mentioned in a recent issue of Rachel Ray magazine. She had something like, 15 different kinds of mac and cheese in there, but this one happened to catch his eye…and then immediately caught mine as well.
I decided to make a few minor modifications to the original recipe…
For one, I upped the butter to 3 sticks because, well, you can never have too much butter, right?
I also tripled the amount of cheese because 8oz just really didn’t seem like it’d be enough. Gimmealldacheese.
Finally, I cooked up an entire package of bacon and then added all of the remaining bacon fat to the pot of water that the pasta cooked in. I mean, if you’re gonna go big, you gotta go all in, right?
Oh hey, quick side note, did you guys realize what today is…?
Did I get anyone? Anyone? ……Bueller?
All kidding aside though, while my ingredient list above may have sounded a bit like a recipe for a heart attack, the real recipe for this dish is no joke.
Soft and tender apples, sweet onions, crispy bacon and freshly shredded cheddar cheese all combine to make this dish just unbelievably delicious. But before I go getting all wordy on you guys again, just take my word for it and try this stuff ASAP. You won’t regret it…promise!
Apple ‘n’ Bacon Mac & Cheese
(lightly adapted from this recipe)
- 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced and cut into quarters
- 3/4 pound elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups milk, at room temperature
- 8 ounces sharp white cheddar, coarsely shredded (about 2 cups)*
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
*If you can buy the real stuff and shred it yourself, DO IT. It makes such a difference!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13” pan with cooking spray.
- In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, 4 to 5 minutes; drain in the colander and set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. fat, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently until the just begin to soften. Then, add the apples and cook until browned and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk; cook until smooth and thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1 1/2 cups cheese and a generous sprinkling of pepper; whisk until smooth.
- In a bowl, add the pasta, the sauce, onions, apples, and parsley; toss well. Reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon. Add the remaining bacon to the pasta; toss. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour mixture into pan, top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved bacon and serve hot. Enjoy!
Anyone have any good April Fools pranks they’ve played today and/or get pranked? I did attempt one on the blog a couple of years ago which was kinda fun.