Barefoot Thursday: Grown Up Mac & Cheese

Today is my very first Barefoot Thursday. I have been a lurker for about two months and finally decided to join Barefoot Bloggers. I am so glad that I did because Heather at Randomosity and the Girl chose a great recipe. I love, love, love mac and cheese. I look forward to Thanksgiving every year because my grandmother makes mac and cheese that is to die for....with hoop cheese. Yum. This recipe by the Barefoot Contessa was good, just not better than good 'ole grandma's. I did love all the cheese. In fact, I had a few slices of each while I was making the casserole. It was really easy to make too. That's a plus with me.

Can't wait for my next Barefoot post... it's Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup.

Grown Up Mac and Cheese
4 ounces thick-sliced bacon
Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
2 cups elbow macaroni or cavatappi
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
3 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
2 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the pan carefully from the oven - there will be hot grease in the pan! Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle.
Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well. Pour into 2 individual size gratin dishes.

Place the bread slices in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Add the basil and pulse to combine. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.


Melissa said...


Jenny said...

Looks terrific! I LOVE mac and cheese, the ultimate comfort food.

Anonymous said...

Grown up mac and cheese, I like the name!

Joelen said...

Yay for joining Barefoot Bloggers! For your first one, you did an awesome job. :) That mac & cheese looks delicious and I especially like the golden, cheesy top!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the group! Nothing is ever as good as grandmas.

jillian said...

Ooh yum! Yours looks perfectly brown on top! I enjoyed this a lot but it wont replace my tried and true recipe either.

~Priscilla~ said...

looks yummy!

Jessica said...

Homemade mac n' cheese is my favorite in the Fall!

Jodie said...

Looks good. At least yours wasn't 4 days late! :)