Everyone is getting ready to break out the pumpkin spice for fall, but I’m going to raise you a mac and cheese.
It’s a comfort food that’s great for fall – or any time of the year, really! This recipe hails from the pages of a classic cookbook, the Junior League of Little Rock’s Big Taste of Little Rock.
Big Taste of Little Rock’s Grown-Up Mac and Cheese
- 12 ounces turkey bacon
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 16 ounces uncooked macaroni
- 4 cups milk
- 6 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups (12 ounces) grated Gruyere cheese
- 2 ½ cups (10 ounces) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 slices white sandwich bread, crusts trimmed
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Arrange the bacon slices on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until crisp. Drain and crumble coarsely. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Bring a large saucepan of water to boil, and add the oil and season with salt. Add the pasta and cook for 6-8 minutes or until al dente and then drain.
Bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan and maintain at a simmer. Do not boil. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add the hot milk and cook for 3 minutes or until thickened, whisking constantly.
Remove the sauce from the heat and add the Gruyere cheese, cheddar cheese, blue cheese, 1 tablespoon salt and the pepper. Stir until the cheeses are melted and blended. Add the pasta and stir in the bacon. Spoon into six individual gratin dishes and place on two baking sheets.
Process the bread to coarse crumbs in a food processor. Mix with 2 tablespoons melted butter and the basil in a bowl. Sprinkle over the pasta. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
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