Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

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boka bacon mac and cheese

Recipe Courtesy Angie Roberts, BOKA
Prep Time 40 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
from Edible Seattle Fall 2008

If you’re going local, BOKA Executive Chef Angie Roberts recommends using Mt. Townsend Creamery’s Trailhead and Seastack cheeses for her creamy, rich macaroni and cheese.

8 ounces elbow pasta, or any other tube-shaped pasta
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for cooking pasta
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup julienned yellow onions
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
7 ounces Gruyère (or similar) cheese, grated
1 1/3-pound piece Brie or other soft ripened cheese, rind removed and sliced
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
4 ounces crusty sourdough bread (about 1/4 loaf), torn into 2″ pieces
1/4 cup cooked and chopped bacon (from about 4 strips, cooked until almost crisp)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot of boiling, well-salted water until tender to the bite. Drain, but do not rinse.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add julienned onions and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle onion-butter mixture with flour; cook, stirring, for one minute. Add wine, stirring up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and simmer for 3 minutes. Add cream and stir well. Sprinkle in cheeses, one large handful at a time, stirring until each handful is mostly melted before adding the next. Stir in 2 tablespoons thyme, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cayenne, and nutmeg. Stir cooked pasta into cheese mixture, then pour all into a 2-quart baking dish.

In a food processor, pulse bread with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until coarse breadcrumbs form. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and chopped bacon mixture over pasta and cheese, alternating layers of half the bacon, half the crumbs, then the remaining bacon and crumbs, and bake until top is browned and cheese is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes.

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