February 19, 2009

Bacon Mac and Cheese, Brussels Sprouts and Cornbread

We're kind of addicted to Costco. I mean. It's a lot of food for not much money and we sure do go through a lot of food. And they have giant packs of 4 of bacon.

And I kind of had a bunch of leftover cheeses from adventures in the snippins bucket at Whole Foods (where they have a bucket of the tiny bits of leftover cheese and sell them for buck or two or three each. great way to sample cheese!)

I have no idea what kinds of cheeses these are anymore. I know one was a goat gouda. I don't remember much else.

And...these noodles.

OK. I got a rotary grater for Christmas and there was much gratage. And a pile of cheese to show for it.

Aaaand then we chopped up four or so strips of bacon into little pieces and fried them up and Steph got mad at me because I didn't think it was enough fat and there needed to be a little dairy fat soooo BUTTER!

Yup. That's bacon fat and butter. Mmmm. Add a few tablespoons of flour to make roux.

That consistency. Let that cook for a couple of minutes. And then add a cup and a half of milk and stir. And then dump in the cheese and let it melt. Ours was grated very fine so it didn't take long at all. (Edited, thanks Mike!) And it'll thicken. Steph likes to add a little mustard at this stage - it adds a little to the sharpness.

In the meantime boil the noodles to just short of al dente, drain, dump into 13x9 pan and pour the sauce over and shake the pan a bit to distribute. This gets baked at 350 for about 20-30 minutes until brown on top. By the time I got to the pan after it was pulled out, it was too late.

And Steph made these totally tasty lemony Brussels Sprouts and then there was dinner.

AND. with the bacon grease leftover from another dish: we made the Coleman family recipe for cornbread. I will let Bob explain.

"This is Coleman Family Cornbread.

2 cups white corn meal, Half cup flour, 1tsp baking soda, one fourth tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 eggs, 2 cups buttermilk, 2 tbs bacon grease. The only thing you need is a well seasoned skillet outside of those ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 450, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Put the skillet and heat it on the stove. While it's heating, add the eggs and buttermilk to the dry ingredients, and mix it all together till it's nice and liquidy. Then put your bacon grease in the skillet, enough to cover the bottom of the skillet, but no more than that.

When the grease starts to smoke, pick up the skillet, pour the grease into the bowl, mix it for a second, then pour it all back into the skillet, and put it into the oven for 28-30 minutes. It ought to come out and you can just turn it over and delicious, yummy, amazing cornbread comes out and you butter it up and eat it."

And you know. It did and it was awesome!


  1. That looks like delicious cornbread. That coleman family must be full of GENIUSES. Who make great milk. Just a guess.

  2. Hmm. I assume to add the cheese in with the butter + bacon + flour + milk mixture after it thickens and melt it all? Or just mix in the cheese after adding that sauce to the noodles and dumping the whole thing into a casserole dish?

  3. The cheese gets added into the thickened bechamel sauce and stirred to melt.

    The awesome thing is, we barely had to season the sauce once all the cheese was in. Bacon + cheese is plenty salty, and the combination of cheeses produced a well-rounded flavor. Just a few grinds of black pepper and we poured that sucker over pasta.


  4. Mmm. I'll have to give this a try.

    Combo of mild cheddar and some Monteray Jack sounds good. Good melters.