I'm a bit of a mac and cheese junkie. It took me years to find the perfect recipe, but now that I have I feel free to branch out and try new flavors. I've mentioned before that Cassie and I have very similar tastes so I was excited when I saw her recipe for Bacon Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese:
I've never put cream cheese in my mac and cheese before and while I liked the flavor, it was a bit too heavy for my taste. I noticed that Cassie uses reduced-fat cream cheese, which probably helps. Since I only buy full-fat next time I'll cut the amount in half and increase the milk for a creamier texture. Mac and cheese is one of Baby Girl's favorite foods, so I gave her some to try. She liked it, although she didn't eat much of it once she saw the peas and carrots we'd heated up to go with it. Crazy kid loves her veggies. Go figure.
Bacon Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
Modified from Cassie Craves
1 pound short pasta
2 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
4-ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Colby-Jack blend cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dry mustard
A pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
Cook pasta according to directions on package in boiling salted water. During the last 4 minutes add the broccoli to the boiling water.
Meanwhile, add bacon to a high-sided skillet and cook until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low and add cream cheese and milk to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook until cream cheese is melted and mixture is thickened and bubbling. Stir in cheeses. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with the dry mustard and nutmeg.
Drain pasta and stir in butter. Combine cooked pasta, broccoli, and half of the bacon. Pour cheese sauce over and stir to combine. Top individual servings with the reserved bacon.