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Grant Achatz' Mac and Cheese

January 5th, 2007 | 8 Comments »

Mac and Cheese (Grant Achatz’s from Food and Wine magazine, Dec ’06)

6 thick slices of bacon, diced, 1 medium onion, minced, 2 bay leaves, 1 T. sweet paprika, ½ t. cayenne,1/3 c. AP flour, 6 c. milk, 1 # elbow macaroni, 1# extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded. Browned bread crumbs if desired.

Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9×13 pan with non stick cooking spray

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add onion and bay leaves to pan and cook until onion is softened, 5 minutes. Stir in paprika and cayenne until fragrant. Add in flour and stir to incorporate. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring frequently for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Boil water and cook pasta until just soft. Drain. Stir all but approximately one cup of cheese into the sauce, stirring well. Add in bacon. Pour over macaroni and mix well. Spread mac and cheese in baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

8 responses to “Grant Achatz' Mac and Cheese”

  1. Lannae says:

    Ah, bacon fat makes everything better! I swear it does! I think your recipe was the only one I saw with bay leaves. Isn’t that amazing that one little leaf can flavor a whole pan of food? Was it good? Did you like it?? I bet it was good! So, about the bacon, I would have found myself only adding 5 bacons back in, and the last one some how getting lost in my stomach before assembly.

  2. Kristen says:

    LOL! You crack me up. That looks incredible… oh my!
    I have that recipe bookmarked in my F&W magazine for future consumption. I will remember your experience and may have my husband record the adventure, just in case I black out or something 🙂

  3. cooknkate says:

    That’s my eagle eye sister….catching what I am too whacked out to remember. I have fixed that now

  4. katessisterkris says:

    Not to be snitty or anything…but what happens to the
    Does Food & Wine really forget to mention to take them out at some point or did you leave that part out??
    (Maybe thats why you passed out! Accidental ingestation of bay leaves! Snicker,snicker,tee hee!!)
    Anyhoo – I have to go – there’s drool all over my keyboard
    and I have to clean it off!

  5. cookiecrumb says:

    Wait, Kevin and I were channeling Grant Achatz? (Well, Kevin more than me.)

  6. kevin says:

    That’s pretty much my recipe.

  7. Marce says:

    hahahahhaa hilarious entry. And that mac-and-cheese looks delicious… though it looks like a winter recipe to me, so I´ll wait a few months before I try it.
    That way, if I eat the whole thing and gain 10 pounds, it won´t be as noticeable!

  8. sher says:

    Oh Yeah! I remember THAT recipe in Food & Wine. He sure does like bacon, doesn’t he? I wanted to make it as soon as I read it. Boy, I’m drooling here. No wonder you blacked out. :):)