Tuesday, October 16, 2012

skillet mac and cheese


I have a confession.  I love mac and cheese from a box!  (Hiding my head in shame now.)  I know it's bad for you.  I know it's full of preservatives and (gasp!) fake cheese.  I love it anyway.  Kraft, Velveeta, doesn't matter - I love me some boxed mac and cheese.

But, I've decided that I need to break away from my love for the box and actually make my own mac and cheese.  After all, when my little Pebbles grows up, I want her eating real food and not inheriting her mother's penchant for processed box food. 

In researching mac and cheese recipes, I finally found one that works for me.  It's as fast to make as the boxed stuff, doesn't require a lot of effort, takes very few ingredients, and produces only one dirty dish.  It's a winner in my book!  I've modified the recipe to make it more to our know...adding a bit more bacon and a bit less onion...and I've tried it with several different types of cheeses.  I loved them all, especially the gouda that the original recipe suggests.  Here's how you do it.

Grab your cast iron or other large skillet and fry up a half pound of bacon.

Remove the bacon to a different dish and cook up some diced onion in the bacon grease.  Stir in some cream and let it simmer for a few minutes until it's slightly thickened.

Turn off the heat and add your cheese.  You can use any cheese you like, just make sure it's shredded or, if it's a soft cheese, diced up into small bits.  Stir until it's melted and well mixed.  Then taste it and add salt and pepper until your taste buds sing.

Add cooked pasta, toss, and serve...delicious!

Skillet Mac and Cheese
adapted from Gouda Stovetop Mac and Cheese on Tasty Kitchen
1 pound pasta
1/2 pound bacon, diced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cup cream
1 cup cheese, shredded or divided into small amounts (if a soft cheese, like Brie)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta until according to package instructions.  Meanwhile,cook bacon in a large skillet until crispy; remove to a separate plate.  Drain all but about one tablespoon of bacon grease from skillet.  Cook onion in bacon grease until tender.  Add the bacon back to the skillet with the heavy cream; simmer for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese until melted and thoroughly mixed.  Season to taste.  Drain cooked pasta and toss into cheese mixture.  Serves 4.

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