Recipe: Pimento and Bacon Mac & Cheese
If you like your dish a little spicier, amp up the cayenne pepper before you add the milk. For a little bit of extra color and flavor, top the dish with diced roasted piquillo peppers.
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 3 3/4 cups hot milk
- 1 pound pimento cheese (approximately)
- 1 pound short macaroni, undercooked by about 1 minute
- 6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
Melt 6 tablespoons butter with the minced shallot in a medium-large stainless-steel saucepan over low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes (flour mixture must foam as it cooks, or sauce will taste of raw flour).
Stir in cayenne and season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk in hot milk, 1/2 cup at a time, and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens.
Reduce heat to low and stir in the cheese. Cook, stirring, until cheese melts, about 2 minutes.
Add pasta and stir until pasta is evenly coated. Remove from heat, stir in the crumbled bacon, and serve.
- 1/2 pound sharp cheddar, coarsely grated
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 ounces by weight roasted red peppers, diced (about 1/4 cup)
- 3/4 teaspoon juice from the roasted peppers (if you’re using jarred roasted peppers)
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- Scant 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- Pinch coarse sea salt
Fold all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
This recipe was adapted by Jessica Webster and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on July 21, 2011.