My first Bona-fide Pinstrosity

Many of you have probably heard of Pinterest, but if you haven’t, it’s a site with a ton of pictures on it. I’m addicted to pulling recipes and tips off there, but sometimes the tips are bad. When Pinterest goes bad, it’s called a Pin-strosity. There’s even a blog about it. I was attempting to recreate a recipe for baked mac-n-cheese with my own spin for tomorrow’s recipe post, but…well, you’ll see.

Here’s what I saw on pinterest:

And how it came out:

Nailed it! Ok, maybe not, but this started out as an unfair fight. After trying to do this and going back to the original picture, their bacon is still raw. No fair! The main problem is that the bacon shrinks up and doesn’t cook right. It also is hard to cut and serve. Plus, the mac-n-cheese starts to burn before your bacon cooks. The mac-n-cheese bacon combo is super tasty though. Instead of doing the lattice, I’d recommend pre-cooking your bacon to crispy, crumbling it and mixing it with your topping.

Now, if you still want to cook along tomorrow, you’ll need to make this baked mac-n-cheese (don’t worry, it’s my recipe, not from the raw bacon people!) and keep it refrigerated for the night. Tomorrow, we fry! In the meantime, here’s an excellent recipe for baked mac-n-cheese:

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni (You want medium elbow noodles for maximum cheese infiltration)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper

Topping:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente. (Slightly firm to the bite, 8-9 minutes, follow directions on the box)

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Temper in the egg. (Beat egg in a bowl and pour a little of the hot mixture in, stir, then pour all back in the pot. This avoids cooking the egg and getting chunks of cooked egg) Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Top the macaroni with the panko crumbs. Spray top with cooking spray (instead of mixing all the crumbs with 3 Tablespoons butter, still browns nicely and cuts a little fat) Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is golden. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

~ by accordingtoleanne on October 12, 2012.

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