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New riffs – mac & cheese

Posted by Jeanne on November 9, 2009

Mac & cheese is a beautiful thing, especially the homemade kind.   I have a huge soft spot in my heart for the neon-ness of our local grocery store’s house brand of boxed mac and cheese – there are certain times when nothing else will do.

But man, homemade mac & cheese is so. damn. good.

Also, it allowed me to take this picture:

DSCN1467

Beware, for I am the squash killer!  Muahahaha.  Also, cleavers are cool.

Roasted squash & bacon macaroni & cheese, based on this recipe.

One medium acorn or other squash, about 2 to 3 pounds whole, halved and seeded

6 slices bacon

1 medium onion, cut into thin strips

Salt

Pepper

8 ounces uncooked macaroni

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used half cheddar and half awesomely funky goat cheese I got from the Whole Paycheck Foods bargain cheese bin.  It was from Spain.  I wish I knew what kind of cheese it was.)

1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425°.

Place squash in a small casserole dish, cut side down, in about an inch to an inch and a half of water.

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Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender. Lower oven temperature to 400°.

When the squash is cool enough to handle (or, if you’re like me, five minutes after it has exited the oven and while it is still hot enough to fry eggs on), remove the peel and cube the squash.  (Scalding the fingerprints off your fingers optional.  I apparently will never learn.)

Cut the bacon into strips about 1/4 inch wide and an inch long; cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Increase heat to medium-high. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and onions – season with salt and pepper and set aside.

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Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain well and add to the squash/bacon/onion mixture.

Combine flour and a pinch of salt in a skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thick, stirring constantly.  Lower heat to medium low.  Add cheese except for Parmesan, stirring until cheese melts.

Add cheese mixture to the rest of it, stirring to combine.  Place in your favorite casserole dish.

DSCN1471

Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cheese melts and begins to brown.

Seriously good.  Try it, you’ll like it.

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2 Responses to “New riffs – mac & cheese”

  1. […] Butternut squash and bacon mac & cheese (this recipe) […]

  2. […] Butternut squash mac & cheese w/bacon (I made this here) […]

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