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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mac 'n' Cheese for Drew

My friend Meghan and her boyfriend Drew visited Charlotte this weekend. Drew surprised Meghan by getting us tickets to see Chelsea Handler for a girls' night out. So, I wanted to make something extra yummy for him.

I gave Drew four choices over e-mail: (a) Mac 'n' Cheese (b) Creamed Corn (c) Roasted Sweet Potato Salad (d) Banana Pudding. He was QUITE excited about option A. When I asked if it would be okay if I made a variation on the classic recipe, one which would include roasted garlic, bacon and shallots, he was even more excited.

This recipe was called the "Best Mac 'n' Cheese Ever" when it won a Good Morning America contest judged by Emeril in 2008. I clipped it from the local paper, which published it because the winner was Charlotte's Laura Macek.

You can click through and read the full recipe for yourself. I roasted the garlic in the morning to save time. Then I fried the bacon (I used almost the whole pound instead of just the half-pound the recipe calls need to skimp on bacon!).
The bacon gets mixed with breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of Parmesan and butter to make the topping. Next I sauteed shallots in a little bacon fat, added butter and made a white sauce to which I added the roasted garlic paste.

I decided to use macaroni noodles instead of the cavatappi the recipe called for, in order to make it little more like real mac 'n' cheese.
I mixed shredded Gruyere and extra-sharp cheddar into the white sauce and blended it all, tossed in the pasta and sprinkled on the topping. Then I forgot to take a picture of the finished product...until I brought the leftovers home.
There wasn't much left! It was a hit, and a great complement to the kick-ass ribs that Meghan and Drew's friend Larry spent all Saturday afternoon smoking. Meghan and I had a great time at the show, and I told Drew he has moved into top position on my list of favorite boyfriends. If anyone else's boyfriend would like to buy me tickets to a show to win me over, I'm open!

1 comment:

Jaime Lee Puskar said...

1) umm... best boyfriend ever right? i always here about these guys and it makes me happy that i've never settled for less

2) this recipe sounds amazing - i'm a firm believer than bacon makes everything better

3) post more often please :)