Barefoot Bloggers: Grown Up Mac and Cheese

by Melissa on September 18, 2008

The first recipe for September for the Barefoot Bloggers is diving head first in to Fall comfort foods! Chosen by Heather at Randomosity and the Girl, this macaroni and cheese offers a few grown up twists. We really enjoyed this for dinner, I wouldn’t say this is a “go-to” recipe, but certainly something a little different. I did make a few minor changes, I took Chelle’s lead and subbed in Fontina for the Blue Cheese, and I omitted the nutmeg.

Grown Up Mac and Cheese

  • 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 (Fontina)
  • 3 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg (Omitted)
  • 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.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Brooke September 18, 2008 at 7:26 pm

I loved this recipe. Yum, yum, yum.


Chelle September 18, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Glad that the fontina worked for you as well. Looks great! :)


Kate September 18, 2008 at 11:48 pm

I hope SOMEBODY used the blue cheese!


Renea(MrsSchoon) September 21, 2008 at 8:41 pm

This sounds great! And I think your blog is excellent!


Amy September 30, 2008 at 11:12 am

:) Looks great!

I nominated you for the E is for excellent blog award on my blog :)


Cristina Ryabinkin January 1, 2009 at 7:05 pm

I make this all the time and pretty much follow the recipe. However, I have also tried it by ommitting the bacon and nutmeg and used jumbo lump crabmeat and oldbay seasonong instead. Either way this is one of my families favorite dishes.


Melissa January 1, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Cristina- that sounds like a delicious idea!


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