Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bacon Garlic Mac & Cheese

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There's a lot of catching up to do. Aside from my upcoming travels {which I'm saving for later to share details about}, the dating scene is still quite entertaining. It's been a great opportunity to observe people and it perplexes me why it's so hard for folks to just be themselves. I don't think I'll ever understand why there are folks who want to go through the effort being someone they are not for the sake of meeting people. Don't they realize eventually, they will need to own up to who they claim to be? {Le sigh...} I guess this applies in everyday relationships with friends, family, co-workers, etc. Thankfully my life is full of sincere, genuine family and friends... and I've had the pleasure of meeting some good people while dating. In fact, I started dating someone recently who has proven to me that chivalry is not dead. It's quite refreshing and it certainly is comforting to know there is at least one decent guy out there among the masses of the not so decent.

But my main #1 guy is my little man, Joel. He's been asking for 'macanoni' for what seems to be every other day for the past 2 weeks. Since the weather has cooled quite a bit, I finally made some 'macanoni'. This time, it's a jazzed up version of Bacon Garlic Mac & Cheese. For this dish, a creamy garlic cheese sauce is paired with the garlic and chive {gluten-free} pasta, garnished with crumbled bacon. How could anyone resist this?!

For this dish, I amped up the garlic by using a garlic chive gluten free pasta from my friends of Papparelle's Pasta. You can use whatever pasta your prefer. You can also use 1/4 cup roasted garlic in place of the minced fresh garlic used in this recipe. If using roasted garlic, note the flavor will be sweeter with a bit of depth. The bacon was used as a garnish but you can also just mix it in as well.

Bacon Garlic Mac & Cheese
recipe adapted from King Authur Flour

8 ounces (about 2 cups) uncooked pasta (or gluten free pasta)
4 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour (or gluten free flour blend)
2 3/4 cups milk
1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder, optional
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
1/2 cup crumbled bacon for garnish


Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water. Set aside.

In a large saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter and add the minced garlic. Slow add the flour and whisk to create a roux. Cook roux until lightly browned and whisk in milk, bringing to a boil.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and seasonings. Stir occasionally, until cheese is completely melted.

Stir the pasta into the cheese sauce. 

Serve and garnish with crumbled bacon.

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