We can cross number 29 (Try a new dinner recipe) off my list because this weekend we made a great meal: Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon.
This was basically this recipe from Kelsey Nixon. Kerry and I are big fans of her show, Kelsey’s Essentials, because she breaks everything down. All the recipes are usually pretty simple, and there isn’t a lot of fuss. This recipe caught my eye when it was on. Mac and cheese, and bacon! And a skillet!! What could be better?
We had to make a few modifications to this recipe. First off, we didn’t have a 12 inch skillet. We have a 10 inch one, but after looking at how much pasta we were going to cook, we realized that wouldn’t cut it. We opted for a deep frying pan, also 10 inches, and it did the job just fine. If you’re going to make this, just make sure you have a big pan. I’m sure anything would work, really, just make sure you can fit all the pasta in it.
Also, I’m not a huge fan of mustard, so I left the dry mustard out. After it was done, Kerry and I agreed that it was missing something. The flavors were a little one dimensional, and I’m sure the mustard would have solved that. When we make this again, we’re going to either try the mustard, or maybe add some hot peppers. Just something to spice it up.
Another word of advice is to make sure you don’t over do it with the bread crumb topping. We used the recommended amount, but could have probably used half. The top browned up, but there was another full layer underneath of just warmed up bread crumbs. It didn’t get that crunchy top we were looking for. It was more of a crunchy top layer, a sandy middle layer, and then the mac and cheese. Still good. Could have been better.
I’m not going to reprint the recipe here, since we didn’t make it up or really improvise all that much. I highly recommend clicking the link above and trying this recipe for yourself. Kerry is eating bacon these days so this isn’t vegetarian, but if you don’t eat meat, the bacon could easily be removed. I would try to replace it with something salty, again, just to add another flavor.
We also had about 2 sips of milk left over. It was whole milk, so neither of us were about to drink it straight. However, with the addition of a little chocolate syrup, whole milk somehow suddenly becomes drinkable. Who knew? Nothing like washing down creamy mac and cheese with a sip and a half of chocolate milk each.
The key to this whole recipe was timing. We messed up a little. Our bechamel sauce was done a little early, so we had to wait for the pasta to cook and the sauce sat for just a bit too long. I wouldn’t recommend trying this recipe by yourself unless you’re a pretty good cook or really good at time management. Basically, what I’m trying to say here (since Kerry asked me to incorporate a Valentine’s day theme) is that this would be a really fun recipe to try with someone you have a crush on. It requires (at least it did for us) two people in the kitchen working together. Isn’t that romantic.
As for us, we’ll be at the movie theater seeing the premiere of A Good Day to Die Hard on Valentine’s day. Best. Wife. Ever.