My side dish for my Neely-inspired dinner was their recipe for macaroni and cheese. I was immediately intrigued by the addition of crumbled bacon and potato chips, yes, potato chips, on the top. Some of the reviews I read on the recipe said that it was bland, so instead of using all sharp cheddar cheese I used half sharp and half chipotle cheddar cheese. I'm glad I added the chipotle cheddar, as I feel it gave the dish most of its flavor. I also used a bit more salt and hot sauce and some red pepper flakes. This mac and cheese was nice and creamy and had just a little spice from the chipotle cheese. It was good, but as with every mac and cheese recipe I've made, I feel like something is missing. Maybe I just love the blue box too much to find an adequate substitute! I did, however, enjoy the nice parmesan, bacon and chip crust on top - a nice salty crunch to compliment the creamy cheese. When there's no Kraft around, I'll definitely use this recipe again!
Macaroni and Cheese
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk, warm
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dash salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dash hot sauce
Dash Worcestershire sauce
3 cups shredded Cheddar
1 pound cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente
1 cup crushed potato chips
5 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for topping
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepot over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in the warmed milk and bring to a boil, continue to whisk constantly. The mixture will thicken as the heat increases. Continue to stir while adding the dry mustard, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire. Stir in the 3 cups of Cheddar until it melts.
Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and add to a 3 quart casserole dish.
Sprinkle the chips, bacon and Parmesan on top and bake for 35 minutes.