You may recall how excited I was to make my own macaroni and cheese a few weeks back. Well imagine my surprise when I learned there is more than one way to skin a cat. Eww poor food reference. Still, when I found this variation in a Pampered Chef book while trying to find something I can make in under 30 minutes, I was hooked!
When I went to buy the ingredients, I had to buy everything. I mean everything. I did not have salt, I did not have pepper, let alone bacon or leeks. At the check out I spent 18 US dollars. The recipe states this makes 6 servings, when I made it, it was a huge serving bowl so I would agree, easily 6 servings. Also as a main dish size or perfect for a dish to take to Thanksgiving to share. If you have pasta and spices it will be even less expensive. I will admit I skimped on the cheeses. I went with canned Parmesan since I needed a can (jar?), I also bought lower end white cheddar. Do what you will, but I needed to save money more than I needed to be a gourmet chef.
Supposedly this recipe takes 29 minutes. It took me well into an hour! Mind you this is mostly because I have the world’s oldest knife set, and nothing would slice my bacon, cheeses, leeks or tomatoes! I know a girl who needs to go shopping. If you wanted to save time, make sure you have your leek, tomatoes and cheeses prepped before you start the rest of the process. Of course there’s a limit on how “before” as you’re working with fresh veggies.
BLT Mac & Cheese
- 5 cups Water
- 8 slices of Bacon
- 4 oz Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
- 1 oz Parmesan Cheese 4 oz Cream Cheese
- 1 lb uncooked Pasta
- 1 tsp Salt
- .5 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Large Leek (white and Green portions only)
- 3 Large Plum Tomatoes
1. Boil water in 8 qt stock pot. (I used 4qt, it was crowded, but it worked)
2. Meanwhile slice bacon crosswise into thin strips. Place into 10 in skillet; cook over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes or until crisp remove bacon from skillet to paper towel lined plate.
3. While bacon cooks, grate cheddar and parmesan cheeses. Add pasta, cream cheese ,grated cheeses, salt and pepper to boiling water in pot. Cover and simmer vigorously 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. As pasta mixture cooks slice leek in half lengthwise then crosswise into 1/2 in. slices. Stir into pasta mixture. Cook uncovered, 5-7 minutes or until pasta is cooked to desired tenderness and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.
5. Meanwhile, cut tomatoes in half lengthwise using tomatoe knife; remove cores and scrape out seeds. Dice tomatoes; reserve 1/4 cup for garnish. remove pot from heat; stir in remaining tomates and half of the bacon. Spoon pasta mixture into serving bowl and garnish with reserved tomatoes and rest of bacon serve immediately.
Serving Size: makes 6 servings