Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Not your Momma's MAC & CHEESE!

I seriously gave myself a huge pat on the back for this recipe. It was so delicious..however, I felt like I needed to run a marathon afterwards to ward off the fat that was making its way to my bottom!
But if you want to impress someone with something tasty and more adult than boxed mac and cheese,
I suggest you try this recipe! 

First take some pasta (I used Shells!) and get them cooking in a pot of boiling highly salted water.

While the pasta is cooking get out the big guns. Pork Belly. This stuff is sooooo tasty! If you can't find any at your local grocer, you can also use thick cut bacon or panchetta.

 Cube the pork belly and throw it in your saucepan on medium high heat.
 Once bacon is pretty brown, toss is in a thinly sliced shallot. I wish I used two for this batch...
so when you make this use two shallots. Since the bacon fat is pretty hot the shallot will cook in less than a minute. Remove bacon and shallots with a slotted spoon and set aside for now, leaving the grease in the pan.
 Get your cheese ready. I grated about 1 1/2 cups old cheddar
 and 1 cup Pecorino Romano
 Back to your grease pan, add about 2 tbsp unsalted butter. Heat should be on medium.
Oh and don't forget about the pasta, you want it to be al dente...strain it and have it handy.

 Once your butter is melted in the pan add about 3 tbsp flour (I ran out of white flour and used whole wheat flour...it still tasted fine). Whisk, Whisk, Whisk...the mixture will start to get all bubbly and brown...you will do this for about a minute or two.
 Now add about 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream and 1 Cup 2% Milk (I told you it was fatty). Continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken slightly. Lower the heat to LOW.
 Add your grated cheese in handfuls, whisking to combine and melt. At this point I seasoned with pepper and a little salt and added some fresh thyme..about a teaspoon full.
 So yummy!
 I poured the pasta shells and cheese sauce back into the pot that i cooked the pasta in and added back the bacon and shallots. Stir to combine.
 If you are feeling a little adventurous or having an undying love of everything goats cheese, crumble some of that in. Stir to combine again. (sorry for the bad picture here...was trying to handle camera, goats cheese and wooden spoon to ward off my cats who smelled cheese)
 Pour Mixture into an oven safe casserole dish or individual bowls.
 Top with Panko Bread Crumbs and Parmesan Cheese. Did I mention that I used 4 different kinds of cheese in this? Maybe that's why its so good!
 If you have some on hand..you can drizzle a little Truffle oil over the casserole before popping it in the oven. Pop the dish in the oven at 350F for about 15-20 minutes or until the topping is browned.
 a work of art!
Serve and enjoy!!

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