Ode to Ina: Grown-Up Mac & Cheese


mac-and-cheese2Everyone is all apple pie this and hot dogs that, but if our great nation’s waistbands are any indication, a plateful of creamy, bubbly, carb-y mac and cheese is about as American as any food gets. I mean seriously, if you put your nose up to this dish and are not lactose intolerant (poor bastards), you basically are a terrorist. WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA?!?! U-S-A! U-S-A!



Ok, I’ll put my American Flag down and stop dancing around like Little Edie a la Grey Gardens just long enough to tell you how obsessed we are with this recipe. The bacon and three different cheeses prove that Ina never fails to up the indulgence ante! Work this into your Thanksgiving repertoire and make everyone fat happy.



grown up mac & cheese adapted from the kitchen of ina garten
serves 6

  • 12 ounces thick-sliced bacon
  • Kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups macaroni
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces Gruyére cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon truffle salt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°.

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. Carefully remove the pan and transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Crumble when the bacon is cool enough to handle.

Decrease oven temperature to 375°.

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 and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Make sure not to boil it.

In a large skillet on low heat, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes while whisking. Add the hot milk and cook while continuing to whisk until thickened and smooth, about 2 minutes.

Off the heat, add the Gruyére, cheddar, blue cheese, 1 tablespoon salt (or truffle salt), pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well. Pour into large casserole or 13×9 baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and basil over the top of the pasta. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over crumbs.

Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.



About Author

A collection of tasty recipes from Queer In The Kitchen, a project that follows two gays' culinary misadventures. Testing and creating recipes and sharing them with you, all while drinking!

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