I usually take some of the larger pieces of ham and serve them heated along with a great side dish. This recipe for mac and cheese was perfect along with some Autumn Spiced Apples. The cheese sauce for the macaroni begins with a simple roux using bacon fat and flour. You generally want to start with equal parts fat and flour cooking over a medium heat. And, of course, the best tool for developing your roux base is a whisk. I tend to prefer a coil whisk for this kind of job, keeping the whisk low and working it to smooth out the mixture rather than to aerate. Since you want a “blond roux” you will only need to cook for just a minute or so before adding the other ingredients. These recipes are beautiful together and are sure to please. (Served here with Sliced Ham and Autumn Spiced Apples.)
SPINACH-BACON MACARONI AND CHEESE (Serves 6)
- 3 cups medium pasta shells, uncooked
- 6 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 4 slices of bacon, chopped
- 2 T flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Cook pasta in a large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt and adding spinach to the boiling water for the last minute.
- Meanwhile, cook and stir bacon in a large saucepan until crisp. Use slotted spoon to remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Add flour to drippings; cook and stir 1 minute or until bubbly. Gradually, stir in milk. Bring to boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened.
- Add 1 cup Cheddar and the Parmesan to saucepan; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until melted. Add pasta mixture and bacon; mix well.
- Spoon into 1-1/2 quart casserole sprayed with cooking spray; top with remaining Cheddar. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.