Some days you need a big helping of comfort food. There is nothing better than a big bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese. Now, I am not talking about the kind you make with a box and powdered cheese sauce. I am talking about the creamy, melt in your mouth kind of mac & cheese that will have you going back to the dish for seconds.
The recipe that I make is my take on a recipe from an old cookbook from the 40’s (Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook). It really just requires that you make a good rue and use a quality cheese. It takes a few minutes to cook up the rue but it is not complicated and the results are fantastic. The sauce is the creamiest that I have ever had. I always whip this one up for holiday meals and of course whenever I get a hankering.
The basic mac & cheese recipe is fantastic as a side dish and goes to a whole other level when you add in a few extras. With the addition of sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, crisp bacon and some grilled chicken, the macaroni and cheese becomes a main dish that your whole family will flip over. Try this recipe for Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Bacon, Mushrooms and Chicken when you need a big helping of comfort food….you won’t be disappointed.
- 8 oz macaroni noodles
- 7 tablespoons butter, divided
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon mustard
- 1½ cups sharp cheddar, grated
- 1½ cups fontina cheese, grated
- ½ cup bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- 2 - 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup grilled chicken, sliced
- ½ - ¾ cups panko breadcrumbs
- green onions for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
- Sautee mushrooms in one tablespoon of butter until golden brown and set aside
- Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in large saucepan.
- Combine flour, salt, nutmeg and mustard then add to melted butter and whisk until smooth.
- Add milk and cream, stir constantly while cooking on medium high until mixture boils.
- Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for 10 minutes while stirring constantly.
- Add cheeses and stir until melted.
- Remove from heat.
- Add cooked noodles, cooked bacon, chopped tomatoes, chicken and mushrooms to the cheese sauce and toss to coat.
- Pour into casserole dish, sprinkle with buttered breadcrumbs and bake on 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Serve topped with sliced green onions.
For plain mac & cheese, skip the extra ingredients added in step #9. Top with breadcrumbs and bake as listed.
I usually pull out one serving of mac and cheese that I bake in a ramekin then use my 1.5 qt Good Cook Casserole dish after I have all the extras added in. My little one is a basic kind of guy and like the plain and simple version.
Inspired by the recipe from Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook