Preheat oven to 375°F and spray a casserole dish or cast iron skillet with cooking spray.
Boil macaroni according to package directions, removing from heat 1 or 2 minutes early.
8 oz elbow macaroni
Cook bacon, stirring, over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Remove bacon grease from the pan, reserving 2 tbsp of grease.
8 slices bacon
Heat reserved bacon grease and butter in pan over medium heat until butter is melted. Add chopped and garlic and cook until softened.
2 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 medium onion, 4 cloves garlic
Whisk in flour and cook a minute or two. Remove from heat.
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Slowly whisk in milk and evaporated milk and stir mixture until slightly thickened. Stir in mustard powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt to taste.
1 cup whole milk, 1 13-ounce can evaporated milk, ½ tsp mustard powder, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, salt and cracked pepper
Stir in grated cheeses, reserving about 2/3 cup for the topping. Cheese should begin to melt.
½ cup smoked Gruyère cheese, ½ cup smoked Gouda cheese, ½ cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, ½ cup smoked sharp cheddar cheese
Add macaroni and stir to coat. Pour mixture into prepared dish or skillet and top with reserved cheese and fresh cracked pepper.
salt and cracked pepper
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese filling is melted. To brown topping further, place under broiler on low for 2-3 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
Blend of cheeses: We're using smoked cheddar, smoked Gruyère, and smoked Gouda cheeses in this smoky mac and cheese recipe. You can usually find these smoked cheeses in your supermarket's specialty cheese or deli section. I got all of mine at Aldi, and I've also found them at Trader Joe's, at Whole Foods, or on Amazon. You can also switch it up and use any semi-hard smoked (or non-smoked) cheese you like!
Storing and freezing: Let your mac and cheese cool to room temperature, then cover tightly or place in an airtight container. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. You can also freeze, tightly covered, for up to 2 months.
Make-ahead or reheat leftovers:You can easily refrigerate and reheat this recipe! Just place it in an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Heat in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes, or until it’s hot and the cheese on top is melty. If you like, remove the foil and heat another 10 minutes to brown the top.
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Smoked Mac and Cheese with Bacon posted on November 22, 2021 by Chenée Today at https://cheneetoday.com/smoked-mac-and-cheese-with-bacon/