Did you get an email from Pinterest last week about mac and cheese? I did. And I deleted it without even looking because I made the best mac and cheese ever a couple of weeks ago. I am hooked.
I have to apologize right now for the photo above because it does not even begin to do justice to this mac and cheese. Hopefully, I’ll learn how to properly shoot mac and cheese in my food styling class this week. Until then I suggest you visit Adventures in Cooking, where I found the recipe, so that you can ooh and aah over Eva’s photos. And perhaps I should be signing up for a few more photo classes while I’m back on Eva’s blog.
Let’s talk about this dish. Anything that starts with bacon cooked in a skillet is on the right track. Then let’s add some onions (I sliced mine super thin, but Eva suggests chopping your onions) to the bacon fat and slow cook them until they are caramelized. While our onions are doing their thing, we will be chopping up two ripe and juicy pears, grating some sharp white cheddar (a whole pound!), and cooking our pasta (I used gemelli). We’ll cook our pears with a bit of honey in the same skillet in which we previously cooked our bacon and our onions, picking up all of that delicious caramel onion-ness as we go.
Next, we will make a béchamel, to which we will add our grated white cheddar and some blue cheese. We will toss everything together – bacon, caramelized onion, pears and juices, cheese sauce, al dente pasta – in a huge bowl, then dump it into a casserole to bake for a bit. Once it has a nice crust on top, it is time to dig in.
At once sharp and sweet with a bite from the blue cheese and the perfect creamy texture, this is the best mac and cheese I’ve ever made. I’m pretty sure that it is actually the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had. The blue cheese is not overwhelming but perfectly balances the sweetness of the pear. The onions add outstanding flavor – for once, not one of my kids (even the little ones) picked out their onions. The bacon and onions lend a smokiness that is perfect with the sharp cheddar. Seriously. Get to the grocery and make this dish tonight. Throw a meatloaf into the oven and toss yourself a salad if you need something to go with your mac and cheese. This was hands down the best meal to come out of my kitchen in months. Let me know when you decide to make it so that I can come over. I’ll bring the salad.