Bacon Mushroom Mac and Cheese
With so many people expressing their love for one another through decadent chocolate desserts this Valentine’s Day weekend, I decided I would express mine with something a little different: cheese. This year I am breaking tradition and will be making a creamy and indulgent homemade mac and cheese recipe that includes a nice white cheddar cheese topped with bacon crumbles and sautéed mushrooms. For my Valentine and I this year it will be all about this comfort food that we both enjoy so much. What better way to enjoy a meal that shouldn’t be too predictable, and should be special.
To be honest I am really not a big pasta fan. However, when I really want to treat my family to a memorable meal, mac and cheese is always a go-to tradition. The cheesy pasta is great on its own, but it’s the extra toppings that make this dish truly memorable.
Valentine’s Day is all about enjoying special food with that special person that loves you the most. You cannot go wrong with this dish. This year go savory over sweet.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Recipe: Bacon Mushroom Mac and Cheese
A rich and decadent bacon mushroom mac and cheese.
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ½ cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound uncooked bacon
10 ounces cremini mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook 8 ounces of dried pasta (half the box) according to the package instructions less 2 minutes.
White the pasta cooks, make the cheese sauce.
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour slowly and whisk continuously.
Slowly add the milk whisking as you go until the sauce thickens.
Turn off the heat.
Sprinkle the cheese a little bit at a time, whisking with each addition so the sauce smooth.
Whisk in the garlic salt, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and add it to the saute pan with the cheese sauce.
Gently fold the pasta until coated.
Transfer the pasta to a medium casserole baking dish.
Bake the mac and cheese uncovered for 20 minutes.
While the mac and cheese is baking, cook the bacon according to the package. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
Crumble the cooked bacon into small pieces
Cook the cremini mushrooms in the reserve bacon fat for 6 minutes seasoning with salt and pepper.
Transfer the bacon and mushrooms to small serving bowls.
When the mac and cheese is done baking, serve individual portions topped with bacon and mushrooms.