5 Strips maple peppered bacon
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
4 ounces grated sharp white Cheddar cheese
1 ounce grated Gruyere cheese
3 drops Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
1 cup elbow macaroni, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons panko bread crumb
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter 2 gratin dishes.
Tray maple bacon, bake for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool drain grease and dice fine.
Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add chopped bacon, Whisk in flour; cook and stir until a paste forms and flour taste cooks off, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cold milk to flour mixture; whisk until completely incorporated. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low, and stir in paprika, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Season sauce with salt.
Stir Cheddar cheese and Gruyere cheese into bacon/béchamel sauce until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and stir Worcestershire sauce into cheese sauce.
Bring a large pot of water a pinch of salt to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 8 minutes., drain pasta.
Stir macaroni into cheese sauce with thyme leaves. Divide macaroni mixture between the 2 prepared gratin dishes. Stir bread crumbs and melted butter together in a bowl. Add Parmesan cheese and stir. Top each gratin dish with bread crumb mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.
106.7 The Drive’s Matt & Ryan competed over who would make the best Mac & Cheese after seeing Chef Sue’s. The trick is, they couldn’t look at the recipe as they cooked. See who made the winning Mac & Cheese.