When you’re a parent, it’s easy to fall into “kid food” mode and cook simple dishes you know your kids will love. But for a night in with my husband, it’s easy to take a kid-friendly recipe and make it adult-friendly too, with savory and sophisticated tastes everyone will love. We get too feel fancy, and our kiddo can still handle the leftovers. One of our new favorites to whip up for a movie night: Bacon and Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese, featuring Castello Blue cheese.
Making mac and cheese from scratch was a little intimidating; like any self-respecting lazy person, my mac and cheese typically comes from a box (although I have upgraded from powdered cheese to liquid cheese in my box). But it turned out to be pretty easy. If you can make spaghetti, you can make mac and cheese. It’s basically just a different noodle and a different sauce. Here’s the ingredients:
8 oz elbow macaroni
1 can (12 oz) of 2% evaporated milk
1 large egg
10 strips of bacon
5 oz crumbled blue cheese
4 oz shredded sharp white cheddar
4 oz shredded colby jack cheese
t tbsp butter or olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper (it’s got a kick!)
First, cook your bacon. You can end up with the diced, cooked piece you need in two ways – cook before dicing or cook after dicing. Cooking after dicing is a little easier for me, just because it’s hard to cut cooked bacon. I cut each uncooked strip down the middle, then chop the skinnier strips remaining at half-inch intervals. Once the bacon is diced, toss it into a skillet over medium-high heat and stir often while you cook the bacon until it’s crispy. Voila – homemade bacon bits! Set those aside on a plate with a paper towl underneath the bits to help soak up any excess grease.
Now set the bacon aside and make the creamy “base” for your mac and cheese. Crack your egg into a mixing bowl and whisk in the evaporated milk, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Set this bowl aside as well; we’ll need it in a minute.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once it’s nice and rolling, add in your pasta. If the box your pasta came in has a cooking time for al dente pasta, use that. Otherwise, subtract two minutes from the cooking time listed (after we drain the pasta, it will continue to cook, and we don’t want it to get too soft). Once the pasta timer goes off, strain the pasta and then return it to the pot, placing it back on the stove over medium-low heat. Then add your butter or olive oil, tossing to coat all the yummy noodles.
Once that’s done, pour in your evaporated milk and egg mixture and stir it well. Raise the heat to medium-high, and stir the mixture for about five minutes until the sauce starts to bubble.
Now here comes the yummy part – add the cheese! Remove the pot from the stove and start adding your cheeses. You can dump them all in, but I add each cheese one at a time (and you can add more cheese than I’ve specified here) and stir everything until the cheese is good and melted.
And once the cheese is in, you’ve got to stir in the bacon, too. All this time, it’s been set aside and lonely.
And that’s it! There’s nothing left to do but eat. You can garnish with more bacon and blue cheese if you’d like, but this dish is super yummy as is. Enjoy!
Castello cheeses can make every recipe feel just a little bit more exceptional. I chose to use their blue cheese here, but they also offer Havarti and créme cheeses for recipes or just snacking. They’ve been around since 1893, which has given them plenty of time to perfect the art of cheese making and product innovative and creatively crafted cheese made with natural ingredients.
Castello is proudly sponsoring the new movie “Burnt” starring Bradley Cooper, and you can visit the Castello & Burnt campaign page for delicious inspiration. You can also visit the page to enter the Unlock Your Inner Chef sweepstakes for a chance to win great prizes, including:
– A private cooking class for two
– A year’s worth of Castello cheese
So what are you waiting for? Get cooking!