Bacon Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

  1. 1 teaspoon flour 

  2. 1/4 teaspoon of butter

  3. 1 cup milk 

  4. 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

  5. 3/4 cup cheddar cheese (A sharp cheddar will produce a most robust tasting Mac & Cheese.)

  6. 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese 

  7. 1 cup cooked macaroni (Start with a 1/2 a cup of dry pasta. Pasta normally doubles when cooked)

  8. 2 slices of thick cut bacon (A smokier bacon will add a layer of complexity to the Mac & Cheese.)

  9. Salt & pepper

  10. 1 Tablespoon of sliced parsley (Flat leaf parsley is easier to slice than curly leaf parsley.) 

  11. 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions: 

  1. Slice the bacon into 1/4 strips. (This is a classical french cut called a Lardon.)

  2. In a small sauce pot over low to medium heat slowly cook the bacon. (By cooking the bacon slower this helps to render the fat from the bacon without browning the bacon fat, all while the bacon becomes crispy.)

  3. Add the flour into the sauce pot. (We are using the bacon fat instead of butter or oil to create our roux, a classic sauce thickener. This will help with adding more bacon flavor to our Mac & Cheese.) 

  4. Add the milk and cream with 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the sauce pot, while whisking, and bring to a simmer. (These are the beginning steps to create the oldest of the Five Mother Sauces. This sauce is called a Béchamel.)

  5. Simmer the Béchamel for 10 - 15 minutes. (This will help to velvety smooth.)

  6. Turn the sauce down to low and slowly stir in the cheese with a rubber spatula.

  7. Slowly mix the pasta into the cheese sauce and season with salt and pepper to personal preference. (If you use a whisk the cheese with get stuck between the metal spokes.)

  8. Add the sliced parsley. Let cook for a minute.

  9. In a small sauté pan, melt the butter over low heat and add the breadcrumbs. Toast gently.

  10. Add the Mac & Cheese to an oven safe dish, top with bread crumbs and bake on 425f for 10 minutes. (This step is completely optional.)

Other ingredients to help enhance your dish:

  • Truffle salt

  • Gouda (smoked even)

  • Fresh thyme

  • Whole wheat pasta

  • Smoked paprika 

  • Fresh garlic

  • Tarragon

  • Parmesan 

  • Smoked ham

  • Rosemary

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Sparkling Grapefruit

Ingredients

1  grapefruit

1 ounce of vodka

7 ounces of white wine

4 ounces of club soda

Raspberries

Thyme sprigs

A pinch of sugar

Directions

Roll the grapefruit on a hard surface, while applying a little pressure, before cutting the fruit in half and squeezing out the juice from one half of the grapefruit.

(This will tenderize the citrus fruit and make it easier to juice.)

In a glass add ingredients in this order:

Crushed ice, raspberries, a thyme sprig, sugar,  grapefruit juice, vodka, white wine, and club soda.

***Note, if you would like to make a mixed drink but do not drink or are staying away from alcohol sparkling waters, fruit flavored waters, and carbonated fruit drinks are a great replacer for the vodka and white wine. Below are a couple of ideas to help you build a great tasting drink.

LaCroix Grapefruit Sparkling Water

Creative Roots Orange Pineapple (coconut water)

S. Pellegrino Tangerine and Wild Strawberry

Your favorite flavor :)

***If you are using a carbonated drink you can omit the use of the club soda in your nonalcoholic beverage. 

Shopping list

Flour

Unsalted butter

Milk

Heavy whipping cream

Cheddar cheese

Mozzarella cheese

Macaroni

Bacon

Parsley

Panko breadcrumbs

Grapefruit

Vodka

White wine

Club soda

Raspberries

Thyme sprigs

Sugar

***Please check the recipes before shopping. I have included some notes and suggestions to help you during your shopping. 

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