Four Cheese and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

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     Have I mentioned how excited I am to be going to Mixed Conference at the end of the month? I’m sure my friends and family are getting tired of me talking about it but I just can’t wait!  Six of us from my cooking board will be going and at least 3 of my fellow Sunday Supper girls will be there as well!  I can’t think of anything more fun then meeting these ladies in person and talking about food!

Four Cheese and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food

In addition to just talking about food I will be going to a small cake decorating session with Duff Goldman from Charm City Cakes!  As many of you know I love decorating cakes and what could be more fun then decorating them with a pro?  Especially one that lives in my state!

Mixed had a macaroni and cheese contest and this was my entry.   I enjoy a combination of cheeses in my macaroni.  For this version I used Parmesan, cheddar, and fontina. I also added in cream cheese for additional creaminess.  To add more flavor and a hint of salt I tossed in some crisp bacon.  I often find the use of cream to be too heavy in an already heavy pasta dish and instead opted for low fat milk and some flour to thicken it up.   Then I added a crunchy topping for some texture.

The end result was delicious.  The macaroni and cheese was creamy and cheesy.  All the different cheeses have their own flavor but they came together in this dish and paired well with the bacon and crunchy topping.  I made a huge batch of it and neither my husband nor I minded eating the leftovers for the next few days.

Four Cheese and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese (a Hezzi-D original)
12 oz. Dreamfields elbows
4 slices bacon
2 shallots, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ c. flour
2 ½ c. 2% milk
½ c. shredded fontina cheese
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
½ c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
1 t. salt
1 t. fresh ground black pepper
¼ t. nutmeg
For the topping:
1 T. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ t. black pepper
½ t. salt
1 t. paprika
½ c. seasoned breadcrumbs
1.       Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2.      Cook the elbow noodles according to the package directions.  Drain and pour into the baking dish.
3.      Cook the bacon in a medium skillet until it is browned on both sides.  Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels.
4.      Pour 1 tablespoon of bacon grease into a large saucepan.  Heat over medium heat.  Add in the shallots and sauté for 3 minutes.  Add in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
5.      Pour the flour into the pan and mix well to blend.
6.      Slowly add in the milk a little at a time, stirring with a whisk until blended.    Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
7.      Remove from heat and immediately stir in the cream cheese, mixing until it is completely blended.  Add in the other cheeses and stir until combined.  Sprinkle in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and mix well.
8.      Crumble the bacon and add to the cheese sauce.
9.      Pour the cheese sauce over top of the elbow macaroni and stir until combined.  Set aside.
10.   Melt the butter for the topping for 30 seconds in the microwave.  Stir in the garlic cloves, salt, pepper, paprika, and breadcrumbs.  The mixture should be crumbly.
11.  Sprinkle the topping over top of the macaroni and cheese.  Put in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Four Cheese and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese will be loved by kids and adults alike.


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