WAVE Cafe Dish of the Day: Decadent Mac and Cheese
Every weekday morning at 8:00, Pat & Kim announce my Wave Cafe Dish of the Day. Then during the Wave Cafe starting at noon, listen for me to give the cue to call 1-800-520-WAVE (9283). If you’re the 9th caller and know today’s Wave Cafe Dish of the Day, you win this week’s prize!
Today’s recipe is courtesy of Chef Nikolai, executive chef at Blue Plate in Santa Monica.
Decadent Mac and Cheese
4 oz thick-sliced applewood smoked bacon
3 cups elbow macaroni (cooked)
1 ½ cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
3 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar
2 ounces Jack cheese
2 ounces Spanish Manchego Cheese
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
10 saltine crackers crushed up
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp.
Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan, do not bring it to a boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the cheeses, salt and pepper, the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well. Pour into large baking dish.
Sprinkle saltine crackers on top of pasta. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.