As a student in Canada I stumbled upon the quick dinner of mac and cheese. It was kind of graduate staple devoured with cheap wine before going out to party or getting back to homework! My Canadians friends were all for it. When I first heard about it, macaroni in a cheesy sauce, I felt what is not there to like about it? In my humble opinion cheese makes everything tasty. That was before I ate the ready to eat boxes of mac and cheese. I tried several popular brands, the common thing was they were all so very bland that they made me want to howl and weep in frustration. I never confessed to my Canadian friends, but I found the ready to eat mac cheese a huge disappointment. But my initial thoughts remained with me. With cheese being the main flavour a food has to be tasty. Ever since I have been looking for a tasty version of this popular dinner. A few days back I hit the jackpot. I found Chef John's video on youtube.
Back to the present. Since husband is busy in a conference all weekend and I am left alone and could not be bothered to cook every evening, I decided to make Chef John's recipe with his measurements and eat it through the weekend. I am sure husband will want a midnight snack to rev him up for the next day as well. I tweaked the recipe a bit, too many bad mac and cheese dinners, so decided to add some flavour on top of his. Sorry chef John for not trusting you 100%, but I did love the bacon bits. I am sure Thomas Jefferson will pardon me as well!
You can find Chef John's recipe here.
So what did I do differently: I added some bacon rashes which I had fried in their own fat on a non-stick pan. Also at the very beginning I added one fat garlic pod chopped roughly to the butter to bring a garlicky flavour. Next time I would probably leave out the garlic and just stick to the bacon.
It came out a treat, the best mac and cheese I have ever had. I think cayenne pepper and nutmeg and bread crumbs on the top made all the whopping difference. Right now I am in food heaven polishing off the last bit of cheesy bacon from my plate. Suddenly I do not mind being home alone on all evening. I am back to those student days, albeit with a tasty mac and cheese and no essay to labour over!
Life is cheesy bliss at the moment!