RECIPE: Mac and cheese with bacon and gruyère

Mac n' cheese continues to be a favorite comfort food by many. This is a bit of a spin on a wonderful dish. Photo: Duane Pemberton

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2013 — Who can hate on homemade Mac n’ Cheese? It Is comfort food 101; simple, homey, a bit rustic, and really does seem to warm the soul. This is a variant that family and friends are sure to enjoy, as it combines some of the most flavorful additions you can put into such an amazingly simple dish.

  • 1/2 cup -Shredded Gruyère Cheese
  • 1/2 cup - Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup - flour
  • 2 tablespoons - butter
  • 3 cups - milk
  • 3/4lb - Elbow Macaroni pasta
  • 2oz - finely chopped, fresh Rosemary
  • 8 strips of bacon
  • Salt / Pepper

SEE RELATED: Review: Ridge Vineyards 2013 Spring Release

Start cooking the bacon first, either in a traditional skillet on the stove top or in the oven on a sheet pan at 400° until crispy.

In a pot start your water on high heat and bring to a boil. Season with several large pinches of sea salt or kosher and then add the pasta and cook until al dente. 

Using a large sauce pan, melt the butter, then add the flour. Slowly add the milk and stir with a wisk until it reaches a consistency that will easily coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now add both cheeses slowly to allow them to melt. Simmer in low heat for a few minutes.

Ramekins work well for plating, however, you can certainly prepare this in a glass casserole dish as well. If using ramekins, add enough pasta to fill about 3/4 of the way up and then add the cheese sauce and mix in chopped bacon. If using a casserole dish, simply combine all the pasta and cheese sauce and add in the bacon (chopped up).

Bake in the oven at 425° for 10-minutes (5-min convection mode) - remove and add the fresh rosemary.

*Pairs well with Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris or even a lighter-style Pinot Noir.

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Duane Pemberton

Duane Pemberton is a food and wine writer who is also the owner of Pemberton is also a well read automobile reviewer and critic, all of which incorporates into his travel, wine and food reviews.

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