October 22, 2010

Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap:: Bacon Mac n' Cheese

A few weeks ago Phil and I were watching a show on Food Network called, America's Best: Comfort Food. They featured Ann Arbor Michigan's own, Zingermans for their Poblano and Bacon Mac N' Cheese. We knew we had to try this stuff but we aren't planning a long enough trip home until mid-December and that is just too long to wait! We decided to look up and try to make it ourselves.

During our mealtime we tallied the total cost of this macaroni and cheese compared to the terrible for you, boxed, Kraft Mac N' Cheese. The price of making a batch of this macaroni and cheese (which would easily serve a family of 6) is the same amount of money that it would cost to purchase 3 boxes of the Kraft variety.

Phil was a bit skeptical because he really doesn't prefer homemade macaroni and cheese however he gave this recipe a pretty high rating on the scale and has eaten leftovers several days in a row! We encourage you to try this recipe out! It is the perfect, quick and cheap comfort food for a cold fall evening!

Bacon Mac N' Cheese
12 ounces penne pasta
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk, divided
2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided

1. Bring 6 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.
2. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add 1 cup milk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until it cools to 155°. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, onions, hot sauce, pepper, and bacon; stir. Add pasta; toss. Spoon into a 2-quart broiler-safe dish coated with cooking spray; top with 1/2 cup cheese. Broil 7 minutes. (Be sure to preheat the broiler).

View more frugal recipes at Grocery Cart Challenge's Recipe Swap.


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