Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bacon Lover's Mac and Cheese

RUN do not WALK to your nearest grocery store and immediately pick up the ingredients for this recipe. I'm not joking. You must make this right away. You'll thank me, I promise.

I follow Annie's blog but somehow this recipe got past me. It wasn't until it was popping up all over Pinterest and a group of my Facebook friends were talking about it, did I notice this recipe. And my immediate thought was 'I can't make that. It says Bacon Lover's and I'm still part of two weight loss challenges.' But everyone kept saying how amazing it was and the recipe did call for low-fat milk, mushrooms and spinach. Those relatively healthy ingredients balance out the bacon and cheese, right?

Actually, it honestly doesn't matter if it doesn't. After eating this, you really won't mind spending another 20 minutes or so on the treadmill. It's that damn good!


Bacon Lover's Mac and Cheese
Source: Annie's Eats
Yield: 4-6 servings
Printer Friendly 

Ingredients:
    • 1 1/2 cups pasta
    • 6-7 slices bacon
    • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (baby bella or button)
    • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
    • 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
    • 1/2 cup Gouda cheese, grated
    • 3 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped
    • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    • cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. In a skillet over medium-high heat cook the bacon until crispy. Transfer the bacon a plate and blot with a paper towel to absorb excess grease. Reserve two tablespoons of the bacon grease in a small bowl. Discard the rest, but leave the skillet just barely coated.
4. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
5. In a large saucepan, combine the bacon grease and butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour and garlic and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is lightly golden.
6. Whisk in the milk. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheddar and Gouda cheese with a wooden spoon until completely melted. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
7. Crumble the bacon, reserving a bit for a garnish. Add the pasta, spinach and remaining bacon to the saucepan and stir until combined.
8. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let rest for a few minutes, then serve topped with reserved bacon bits.

I really can't even explain how delicious this dish is in words. You just have to try it. Today.


3 comments:

  1. You had me at Bacon and Cheese!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's sooooooo good. I've made it twice in less than 3 weeks.

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  2. LOVE this recipe. I need to make it again soon. :)

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