There are some foods which simply ring of your youth. Most of these things are not really as good as you remember them especially when you think what they are. As we grow a little older we move past these things or at the very least we don’t eat them with the same frequency or vigour as we once did. Some of us have problems letting go and will swear that the peanut and jelly sandwiches of our youth are still the greatest food stuff in the history of the world. Just for the record they are. So I have decided to screw around with someone else’s food obsession. There were many days when I would come home from work to find my roommates all clustered around the stove gazing into a huge stock waiting for their favourite thing in the world... Kraft Dinner. No matter the time of day I could count on seeing KD splashed, in all of its day glow orange glory, all over the kitchen. The boys would buy it buy the case. So here I go, just for you boys, Johnny Condor’s Mac and Cheese.
Everybody should have a few core sauces in their repertoire that truly kick some serious ass. So the first thing that we need to do is make a killer cheese sauce. This is pretty much a three step process and I am sure that the final product has a fancy French name for cheese sauce, but I don’t know it. The first two steps do have fancy French names and I do know those. So here we go getting fancy. The first part is making a roux. This is just equal parts melted butter and flour and it acts as a thickening agent. The next part you add some dairy. I use whole milk but you can add whatever you like depending on how rich you want your sauce to be. Whisk the snot out of it so there are no lumps. Now you have yourself a béchamel sauce. All of those fancy words for a simple sauce. Next you add your cheese and stir constantly until all of your cheese is melted and incorporated fully. This yields what we are looking for, an awesome cheese sauce. All you need to do now is put it together with some other stuff and you have a Mac and Cheese of legendary proportions. So let’s do that
Johnny Condor’s Mac and Cheese to the tune of “Faith” by George Michael
½ a bag of elbow macaroni
¼ cup of butter
¼ cup of flour
2 pints of milk
A good size brick of the cheese of your choice I go with aged cheddar myself grated
Salt and pepper
2 onions diced and caramelized
4 strips of double smoked bacon diced and fried
¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
-Preheat oven at 350
-Cook up your pasta like you normally do and whip up your awesome cheese sauce as outlined above. Use about ¾ of your cheese.
-Combine your pasta, sauce, onions, and bacon and pour into a casserole or baking pan, cover with the remaining cheese and Parmesan. You can also add some breadcrumbs and butter to the top to create a gratin kind of topping.
-Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the cheese on top is a little crispy. Then serve it up my friends.
So there it is, in honor of the boys, give it a go and let me know how it works.