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Baked Mac and Cheese

August 4, 2011

Baked Mac and Cheese also known as, Cheesy, Creamy, Greasy Greatness.

Last night I was with my nine-month-pregnant-sister when the overwhelming craving for mac and cheese hit us. Okay, maybe her cravings are justifiable… I’m just in it for the ride… And the clogged arteries.

This recipe was delicious. I couldn’t stop myself from eating it before it was ready, it was that good. Bacon, good. Heavy cream, good. Cheese, gooood. (I hope someone picked up on that Joey reference…)

One great thing about this recipe is it only uses TWO dishes; a big pot for cooking the pasta shells and a cast iron skillet. Sounds easy enough!

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Baked Mac and Cheese recipe by The Bite-Sized Baker:

1 pound large pasta shells (not jumbo!)

4 strips of bacon, cut into small strips

1 pint heavy cream

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

8 ounces Monterey jack cheese

4 ounces Swiss cheese

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1-2 teaspoons chili powder

1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Salt and pepper, to taste

Truffle oil, to taste

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta shells until al dente.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, cook pieces of bacon in a large cast iron skillet.
  4. Once the bacon is cooked, add 1 pint heavy cream and stir. (If mixture appears thin, whisk in 1-2 tablespoons flour. If mixture appears thick, whisk in 1-2 tablespoons milk)
  5. Season heavy cream and bacon mixture with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, white pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. Add half of the sharp cheddar, Monterey jack, and Swiss cheese into cream and bacon mixture and stir until well incorporated. Use a whisk to break up any lumps.
  7. Fold the shells into mix in the cast iron skillet. Top with remaining cheese.
  8. Place entire cast iron skillet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and lightly drizzle truffle oil. Let rest for five minutes before serving.

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