1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Ooey, gooey, bacon mac ‘n’ cheese

TODAY recipes
updated 11/2/2011 2:26:15 PM ET 2011-11-02T18:26:15

Recipe: Super mac and cheese with smoked bacon, veggies, and crunchy bacon crumbs

Ingredients
  • Cheese bechamel
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 4 cups of milk, hot, but not boiling
  • Salt, white pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of grated American cheese
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmigiano
  • Mac and cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 ounces of extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of fresh chopped rosemary
  • Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound of ditallini pasta, blanched, chilled, then brought to room temperature
  • 12-14 ounces of cheese bechamel
  • 1/2 pound of sliced bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces, cooked, strain fat, reserve bacon
  • 1.5 cups of blanched asparagus, cut into thin rings (1/4 inch)
  • 1.5 cups of blanched haricot vert, cut into thin rings (1/4 inch)
  • 1/2 cup of diced onions, small, sweated in a small amount of butter (once cooked and cooled, combine asparagus, haricot vert, and onion and reserve)
  • 1/2 cup grated manchego cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated (yellow) cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of toasted panko crumbs, (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced green onions (1/8 inch)
Preparation

For cheese bechamel: Melt butter in a medium sized sauce pan. Add flour and stir over moderate heat for approximately 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and continue to stir and cook Add salt, white pepper. Add both cheeses until they melt and the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Chill and reserve.

For mac and cheese: In a large soup pot, melt butter and olive oil over high heat. Add rosemary, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Add cooked pasta, bechamel and allow to melt, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add bacon, veggies and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add cheeses, mix, and allow to melt. Taste and adjust seasoning. If too thick, add a little milk or more bechamel. Pour into rustic serving vessel and completely cover with toasted bread crumbs. Garnish with green onions and serve.

Serving Size

Makes 12 side dishes

Recipe: Caramelized brussel sprouts with brown butter, sage, walnuts, and kumquats

Ingredients
  • 5 ounces of extra virgin olive oil
  • Approximately 45 brussel sprouts, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage
  • Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper
  • 1.5 cups of toasted walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup of fresh kumquats, sliced thinly and seeds removed (slices stored in any juice that might come out of the kumquats)
Preparation

Preheat oven to broil. Toss brussel sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and leave in a large mixing bowl. Place brussel sprouts, cut side up, on a large baking sheet. Place under the broiler until they start to "blacken" or start to look caramalized. Once they start to blacken, stir around the pan. They should be tender but still have a little bit of bite to them (not mushy). This can be done ahead of time.

In a medium size rondeau or braising pan, melt butter over high heat until it starts to turn golden brown. Add sage and cook for 15 seconds. Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and then the brussel sprouts and toss in butter and sage mixture until they start to get hot. You can add 1/2 cup of water to speed process up a bit. Once hot, add walnuts and kumquats. Toss, taste for seasoning, adjust, and serve.

Serving Size

Makes 12 side dishes

Recipe: Roasted cauliflower with butter, parmigiano, and bread crumbs

Ingredients
  • 4 ounces of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heads of cauliflower, broken up into florets
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper, to taste, 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 cups of grated parmigiano
  • 2 cups of toasted panko crumbs, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped parsley
Preparation

Preheat oven to broil. Toss cauliflower and olive oil in a large bowl. Add, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and rosemary. Toss again. (Save the bowl for later use)

Place cauliflower on a large baking sheet and place in oven under the broiler. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower starts to turn golden brown and becomes tender but with still a little bite to it. Remove from oven, place cauliflower back in the mixing bowl and add the melted butter. Toss together.

Add parmigiano and bread crumbs to cauliflower, toss to combine. Place the cauliflower back on the sheet pan and place back in the oven until the cheese melts and the bread crumbs begin to get a little more golden brown and toasted. Remove from oven, place in a serving vessel, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve.

Discuss: What did you think of this recipe?

How many stars would you give the dish? If you made changes, tell us how you customized it.

Discussion comments

,

More on TODAY.com

  1. Keir Simmons Via Instagram

    'Hugging my children closer': Reporter home after covering MH17 crash

    8/1/2014 8:33:03 PM +00:00 2014-08-01T20:33:03
  1. Priscilla Motola

    Oh. My. Geep. Meet the half goat, half sheep who is all cuteness

    8/1/2014 9:05:08 PM +00:00 2014-08-01T21:05:08
  1. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

    Teens affected by terrorism find healing, peace at inspiring camp

    8/1/2014 9:32:07 PM +00:00 2014-08-01T21:32:07
  1. US scrambles to retrieve Ebola-infected Americans

    Health officials are trying to bring two American patients infected with Ebola virus back from West Africa for treatment.The State Department said it was helping organize the evacuations over the “coming days.”

    8/1/2014 3:47:06 PM +00:00 2014-08-01T15:47:06
  1. Matt York / AP

    Mansion or shack? That's the million-dollar question

    8/1/2014 6:47:36 PM +00:00 2014-08-01T18:47:36