Thursday, September 11, 2008

BB: "Mac" and Cheese

This installment of the Barefoot Bloggers was brought you by Heather of Randomosity and the Girl. She chose Grown up Mac and Cheese. I love me some mac and cheese, but low carb diet does not. So, I swapped out the pasta for cauliflower! That is why the title is "Mac" and cheese. I also made a few other changes to make it even more low carb. Plus I pared the recipe down to serve only 1.

Grown Up Mac and Cheese
from Ina Garten courtesy of Food

4 ounces thick-sliced bacon (I used 2)
Vegetable oil (I omitted this)
Kosher salt
2 cups elbow macaroni or cavatappi (I used 1 cup of steamed cauliflower)
1 1/2 cups milk (I used about 3/4 cup of half and half)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I subbed 2 tbsp. cream cheese tthicken the sauce)
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated ( I used mozzarella)
3 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
2 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled (I subbed parmesan cheese)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg ( forgot to add this)
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed (I omitted this)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves (I omittd this)

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.

The result was delicious. I am not sure if I can still call it Mac and Cheese, but it was sooooo good.


Rebecca said...

Wow, nice substitutions! If I make this again, I'm definitely adding cauliflower or broccoli and making it more low-carb. Smart move!

Melissa said...

Great idea to use cauliflower!

Rachel said...

Thanks! I figured what really tastes good is the sauce and bacon!

Jodie said...

Looks good. I love the idea of using cauliflower!

Peggy said...

the cauliflower looks delicious. That's very creative!

Julie said...

That's so funny - tonight after I roasted some cauliflower for dinner, I decided after it was done to throw a cheese sauce through it, top it with some panko and throw it back in the oven to broil. I was super impressed with my spur of the moment mock mac n cheese! I even topped it with some ketchup (don't knock it till you try it) and it was an awesome sub for high carb mac and cheese.
Love your blog!!!