Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese

This “grown-up” mac ‘n cheese recipe takes this dish to the next level.  The seemingly odd combination of cheeses combines to create something unbelievably good with just the right amount of zing.   

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. pasta (elbows work well)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups milk
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup crumbled mild blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp white pepper, or more to taste
  • Ritz crackers, crumbled

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Melt the butter in a large sauce pan and sprinkle the flour over butter; cook 2-3 minutes over medium heat, whisking until a roux or paste forms
  • Add warm milk and whisk vigorously until dissolved in the roux
  • Cook sauce, stirring frequently, over medium-low heat until thick and bubbly
  • Add cream and all of the cheeses as well as the salt and pepper
  • Cook until cheese are fully melted
  • In a separate pot, cook the pasta
  • In a separate pan, cook the bacon until it’s crispy – transfer to a plate and blot with a paper towel
  • Add the cooked pasta and bacon to the cheese sauce and mix well
  • Pour the cheesy pasta into a large baking dish and top with the crumbled Ritz crackers
  • Bake in the oven at 325°F for 15 minutes or until golden brown


Buffalo Chicken Dip

This dip is another perfect addition to your football game day lineup.  I don’t even like blue cheese and I can’t resist this dip…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 – 8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing (I use ranch… you now know why)
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Redhot Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Chopped rotisserie chicken breast (I typically buy a whole rotisserie chicken and use all of the white meat; you could also use leftovers)
  • Round loaf of bread (i.e. boule) for serving
**I typically double this recipe when I make it**

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Soften the cream cheese on low power in the microwave until it is very easy to work with but not melted
  • Place the softened cream cheese into a mixing bowl with the dressing and Frank’s Redhot and mix with a mixer on LOW speed  (hand held or standing)
    • I’ve mixed this on high and made an absolute DISASTER in the kitchen — now I mix this with the bowl in the sink
  • Fold in the crumbled blue cheese and chopped chicken breast
    • The amount of chicken in this dip is totally up to you – put as much or as little as you desire
  • Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes
    • I usually serve this dip in a cut out bread bowl
      • To do this, buy a crusty boule and cut large circle out of the top and dig out the middle
      • Then pour the dip into your bread bowl and serve with another cut up boule and chopped celery