; Supermarket Serenade: Barefoot Thursday! Grown Up Mac and Cheese

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Barefoot Thursday! Grown Up Mac and Cheese

Welcome to Barefoot Thursday! Barefoot Thursday comes twice a month and it’s a day when food bloggers everywhere (well about 100 bloggers right now) prepare a recipe created by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. Why don’t you join in? Today’s recipe for Grown Up Mac and Cheese was selected by Heather of Randomosity and the Girl. And oh what a fine selection it was!

Why is it that all the foods I love are so high in fat and calories? I found on a website called The Culinary Review that this recipe has 1407 calories per serving! Could that be true? I didn’t skimp on the cheese and bacon that’s for sure. I actually quintupled the recipe-not for myself (although I can shovel down Mac and Cheese with the best of them). This is my week to cook for a local women’s shelter; but now that I know that I am serving them a meal of 14,070 calories (not counting salad and dessert) I feel a tad bit guilty that I didn’t buy reduced fat cheeses.

Oh well, it sure is a tasty comfort meal though. I did make one slight change to the recipe and that was to eliminate the bread crumbs (yeah I know that’s like throwing a deck chair off the Queen Mary). But wait, I replaced the crumbs with frizzled shallots…shallots I coated with flour and cooked until crispy in some of the bacon drippings! I guess we can just go ahead and round off that calorie count to 15,000. Would anyone care for dessert?

Grown Up Mac and Cheese by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

4 ounces thick-sliced bacon
Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
2 cups elbow macaroni or cavatappi
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
3 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
2 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
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.


Prudy said...

What a great swap out for the breadcrumbs. I just knew you'd have something fabulous on your plate. It makes me want to make again... and again...and again.

Andrea said...

Yikes about that calorie count! I left the bacon off of mine, maybe now it's healthy now, right? Right. :) How sweet of you to make this for the women's shelter, I'm sure the really appreciated all of the warm gooey goodness that only home made mac and cheese can provide! I can't imagine your cheese bill though, ouch.

Mary said...

You guys are killing me! This sounds insanely good.

Anonymous said...

Wow! A meal fit for a Southern Gal! I think those ladies deserve a little comfort in their lives.

Maria said...

I love seeing all of these mac and cheese dishes. So comforting!! I love Ina's recipes. Yours turned out great!

The Blonde Duck said...

That looks divine! I'm a fan of mac and cheese, no matter if it's "grown up" or not!

Melissa said...

Did you really have to go looking for the calories?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Oh my. This sounds and looks wonderful. I just wish I could get gruyere in my area. -Lorie

Beth said...

Yum, that about sums it up

Esi said...

Oh no! Just read the calorie count and almost fainted. It was delicious though, right? I love your swapping of shallots for breadcrumbs.

Anonymous said...

Don't feel too bad about the 15,000,000 calories! They probably need them. You are such a kind and generous woman. It looks delish!

Debinhawaii said...

Now why would you go do something like look up the calories on this??!!?? That is just wrong. Much better to pretend it doesn't have any! ;-) It looks delicious--love breadcrumbs but your shallots sound equally delightful!

Lisa said...

This looks great! I made mac and cheese tonight for my kids but it was right out of the box...the only way my son will eat it.

Grace said...

fat and calories lead to deliciousness, that's for sure. great sub for ol' bread crumbs, obviously!
and yes, i'd still have dessert. :)

RecipeGirl said...

This looks like the absolute picture of comfort food. Something I need when I'm stressed out. I'd eat this and then a pint of Ben & Jerry's. Then I'd really be in trouble!

(There's a reason why I don't include the calorie count on my website... except for the low fat recipes! Sometimes, you just don't want to know!!)

Bridgett said...

Looks and sounds delicious. I would love that salty bite of the bacon. It definitely jazzes it up for the adults.

Teresa said...

Ooooh! I like the idea of the shallots instead of the breadcrumbs. Sounds delicious. I was gonna play around with the breadcrumb topping next time I made it but I think I'll try this instead!

Aggie said...

My mouth is watering...looks delicious Veronica!!

Heather B said...

wow...calorie overload! Glad I didn't know before I picked it! Great job! It looks delicious!