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Smoked Cheddar Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Crispy Topping
Smoked Cheddar Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Crispy Topping
Smoked Cheddar Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Crispy Topping
Smoked Cheddar Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Crispy Topping
Smoked Cheddar Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Crispy Topping

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hour (+ 10 mins standing time)
Serves: 8

Ingredients

Crispy Topping:

  • 2 slices double-smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (see Tip)
  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1/3 cup prepared crispy fried onions
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Mac ‘n’ Cheese:

  • 1 lb farfalle pasta
  • 1/4 cup grass-fed butter
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup 35% heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp each salt, pepper and smoked paprika
  • 1 cup shredded smoked Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 8 oz cold pack sharp Cheddar cheese


methodology

1. Crispy Topping: Turn temperature control dial on CRUX 6 QT Extra Deep Electric Skillet to 350˚F to preheat. Cook bacon for 6 to 8 minutes or until crispy; transfer to paper towel. Remove all but 1 tbsp fat in pan; cook bread crumbs and butter for 2 to 4 minutes or until lightly golden and toasted. Transfer to small bowl; let cool completely. Stir in bacon, crispy fried onions, Parmesan, chives and pepper; set aside. Wipe pan clean with paper towel.

2. Mac ‘n’ Cheese: Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

3. Turn temperature control dial on electric skillet to 350˚F to preheat. Cook butter, shallots, thyme and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle in flour; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth.

4. Slowly whisk in milk and cream; bring to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to 300˚F; cook, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Stir in mustard, salt, pepper and smoked paprika.

5. Stir in smoked Cheddar, Gruyère and cold pack Cheddar until cheese starts to melt. Stir in pasta and reserved cooking liquid; cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until sauce is thickened to creamy consistency.

6. Sprinkle with bread crumb topping. Reduce heat to warm; let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Tip:

  • For fresh homemade bread crumbs, remove crusts from 2 thick slices of rustic Italian or country bread and cut into large cubes. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Let stand in a cool dry place to air-dry for 1 or 2 days. Add to food processor; pulse until coarsely ground.

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