Macaroni and cheese is almost everyone’s favorite childhood food, and we’ve made this grown up version by adding smoked gouda, bacon and spices. The crunchy bread crumbs come together in the food processor and add a nice crunch to the soft mac and cheese when you bake it in the oven. And bacon? Well, who doesn’t like bacon? This is the ultimate in rich comfort food, and it’s great for leftovers because it’s even better the next day. The recipe is also perfect for feeding a crowd – just pair it with a salad and a good beer selection and you have dinner for a dozen people.
Smoked Gouda Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
1 (4 oz.) French baguette, torn
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed parsley
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 package (16 oz.) corkscrew or elbow pasta
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
1 package (8 oz.) extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 package (8 oz.) smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
2 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Using S-blade with food processor running, drop bread, 1/2 of the bacon and parsley into food chute. Process until finely chopped. Gradually add melted butter; process until crumbs form. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Melt 1/3 cup butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add flour, whisking until smooth, about 1 minute. Slowly add milk, stirring 8 to 10 minutes until mixture is thickened and smooth. Remove from heat.
Stir in cheeses, remaining bacon and Creole seasoning until cheese is melted. Fold in pasta.
Pour mixture into 11x7-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until crumbs are browned and mixture is heated through.
If using a countertop oven, place baking dish on the bottom rack to bake.
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