Monday, February 6, 2012

Bacon Mac & Cheese..........

This is a recipe from Iron Chef Michael Symon, the one with the bald head, big eyes, and great laugh.  Yes, I have a crush, I can't help myself.  He is incredibly charming, and cooks like a dream........and once you try this recipe, maybe you'll have a crush too.  That's just a chance you'll have to take.  You'll be so glad you did.

Bacon Mac & Cheese


1 quart (4 cups) heavy cream
4 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 pound bacon, diced, fried crisp and drained 
1 pound elbow macaroni or short hollow pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained, reserving 3 teaspoons pasta water
2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin Gruyere cheese, grated 
Chopped chives for garnish


Place cream in large saucepan with rosemary. Add salt and pepper. Bring to boil and keep at boil until reduced by half (be patient, this takes some time). Stir in bacon and pasta and simmer until hot; add the Gruyere cheese and 3 teaspoons pasta water. Stir until cheese is melted. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source:  Chef Michael Symon

I deviated from the recipe 4 ways.  First of all, I couldn't find Wisconsin Gruyere, so I used good ol' Boar's Head.  I also added a pinch of nutmeg to the cream.  I liked the look of the pasta "cellentani" because it reminded me of cavatappi (The Barefoot Contessa uses it )  Lastly, it seemed a little thin to me (maybe I didn't get the cream totally reduced to half ? ), so I added some panko bread crumbs to the top, mushed them down, then put in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, let it rest for 5 minutes before the hubby and I dived in.  It was fabulous!  The addition of the bacon and rosemary really gave this recipe something special.  I am not a fan of yellow sharp cheddar cheese or american sliced cheese , so I am always seeking out recipes for macaroni and cheese that are different.  

Side note:  it took trips to 3 different supermarkets to find the heavy cream.  Dear Publix, I miss you so much and can't wait to be one of your best customers again!

This is comfort food at it's finest.  Comfort food with bacon no less.  Goodness, folks these days will add bacon to almost anything, even chocolate.  Face it, bacon tastes good!

Have a wonderful day!


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