Since this blog was created to document our growing family, why not include some favorite meals / recipes every once in a while?
Jessica is a whiz in the kitchen, particularly in the baking department, so stay tuned for future posts of her best desserts. For now, due to popular demand from our 4th of July picnic, here is the mac & cheese recipe that has made numerous appearances in our dinner lineup.
It is a slightly adapted recipe by The Neelys on Food Network. If you know them, you know that this recipe will be a) ridiculously good and b) bad for your health so we'd advise not adding this to your weekly rotation.
In my opinion, this dish requires cavatappi pasta. While it's harder to find and never on sale, it gives it a great texture. Also, the dry mustard, Texas Pete, and Worcestershire sauce provide the bite. Lastly, and most importantly, the bacon and crushed potato chips take it to a whole new level. As already mentioned, you probably shouldn't eat this all the time, but it will be hard not to.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 Tbs butter
4 cups milk, warmed
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper as desired
Several shakes (or more) Texas Pete [or sub your favorite here]
Dash Worcestershire sauce
1 pound cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente
3 cups shredded Cheddar
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (for topping)
1 lunch-sized bag of crushed Lay's potato chips
5 slices cooked bacon, crumbled/chopped
Prep: Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Pasta: Boil cavatappi pasta (cook al dente), drain, & put in a 3 qt casserole dish.
Sauce: Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in the warmed milk and bring to a boil. Continue to whisk constantly. The mixture will thicken as the heat increases. Continue to stir while adding the dry mustard, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire. Stir in the 3 cups of Cheddar until it melts.
Mix: Combine the cheese sauce with the noodles and mix in crumbled bacon (leave some to the side as a topping).
Sprinkle the crushed potato chips, remaining bacon, and grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for 35 minutes, let it rest a few minutes, say your blessings, dig in, lounge.