Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bacon-Ranch Mac-N-Cheese

Bacon-Ranch Mac-N-Cheese

"What did you feed Cash for supper?" I ask while I'm at work Sunday night. (Because I obviously didn't leave anything at home for the guys. Although we did make homemade "pasta" for lunch! But that's another story, and I'm getting away from things more pertinent to today, such as that photo above. *drool*)

"We went to the grocery store. I got some roasted potatoes, and he had some 'ronies with cheese," Brad tells me. (We call them 'ronies, because that's what Cash calls them. And since he loves 'ronies we'll call them whatever he wants if he'll actually eat them. My kid, he doesn't eat much. *sigh*)

"Was it good?" I ask.

"Not bad," Brad says.

"But not as good as that mac-n-cheese I made last week," I say. "The dish with the bacon and ranch flavor. That was good."

"It was awesome," Brad says.

"Man, it was incredible. I wish I had some right now," I reply. (Even though it's midnight and I just got home from work. Because seriously. That stuff was so, so good. Even if I did take a Cooking Light recipe and make it ... uh ... not-so-light. But then again I guess that's why it was ultimately so, so good. Hmmm. I might have to go make some more. Like, right this second.)

Bacon-Ranch Mac-N-Cheese
Adapted from Cooking Light
Printer-friendly recipe

Ingredients
8 ounces elbow macaroni
4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1.5 cups milk
1 recipe Barbara's white sauce (scroll down; this is in place of a can of soup)
1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon sharp, shredded, cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

Directions

1. Cook pasta according to directions.
2. Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove slices, but keep 2 tablespoons of drippings in pan. After bacon cools to the touch, chop it into bite-size pieces and set aside.
3. Make white sauce in separate saucepan. Set aside. (Note: I used bacon drippings in place of the butter to make this.)
4. Add butter to bacon drippings in pan and let melt. Sprinkle flour over melted butter, whisking constantly until combined. In a separate bowl mix together milk and white sauce, then pour over flour mixture, whisking constantly. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand a few minutes until mixture cools slightly. Then add bacon, cheese, dill, garlic powder, mustard powder and salt.
5. Preheat broiler. Grease casserole dish. Pour prepared macaroni into greased dish. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Broil until cheese melts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot.

And of course this makes fabulous leftovers - if you have any left. I mean really, is there anything better than leftover mac-n-cheese? I think not!