- Macaroni & Cheese
1 lb cavatappi corkscrew pasta
4 slices Olde World Farms farmers' market thick sliced bacon
1/4 cup Cajun pork cracklins (from Andre's Cajun Cracklins, Erwinville LA)
6 slices homemade white bread
2 cups half & half
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces (about 2 cups) Houston Dairymaids Paragon cheddar cheese, diced
10 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) Velveeta cheese, cut into small dice
8 ounces (about 2 cups) Houston Dairymaids Gouda cheese, cut into small dice
Preheat oven to 375.
Bring large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook cavatappi
pasta until barely al dente cooked on the outside, underdone on the
inside. Rinse in a colander under cold water, drain well, and set
Fry bacon in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat until crispy.
Reserve rendered bacon fat. Crumble bacon into half-inch pieces
and set aside.
1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat to lightly grease a
Chop pork cracklins into fine dice. Toss together with crumbled
bacon and set aside.
Remove crusts from white bread and discard. Tear remaining bread
into half-inch pieces. Toss with 2 tbsp reserved bacon fat, and set aside.
Stir together milk and half & half in a heatproof bowl. Microwave
on medium until the milk begins to bubble and is hot throughout.
Melt 6 Tablespoons reserved bacon fat in a large saute pan over
medium heat until melted & sizzling. Add flour and cook, whisking
constantly, for 1 minute.
Continuing to whisk constantly over medium heat, add hot milk mixture
slowly to flour mixture, keeping it smooth. Continue to whisk until
the milk/flour mixture bubbles and thickens.
1 cup cheddar cheese,
cups Velveeta cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gouda cheese. Stir in cooked
Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheddar,
1/2 cup Gouda, crumbled bacon & pork cracklins, and bread crumbs
on top. Bake casserole until golden & bubbly, approximately 30
minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.