Thursday, September 17, 2015


serves 4-6

1 pound elbow macaroni
¾ pound thick-cut bacon, diced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups hot milk
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup shredded raclette, plus ½ cup for topping (6 ounces total)
1 cup shredded Gruyere (4 ounces)
1 cup shredded young fontina (4 ounces)
½ cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the macaroni in a large pot of liberally salted water a few minutes short of al dente.

Meanwhile, fry bacon in a skillet until brown but not too crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve the fat.

While the pasta cooks, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons bacon fat and flour. Cook the roux, stirring constantly, until thickened and nutty in color, about 3 minutes. Pour in the hot milk, and whisk constantly until thickened and the sauce coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the cheeses, a handful at a time, and stir until melted. Stir in the macaroni and the bacon until evenly incorporated.

Grease four 6-inch mini skillets or gratin dishes or six 12-ounce ramekins or ovenproof bowls with about 1 to 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Spoon macaroni mixture into each, mounding the top. Scatter over with remaining raclette and breadcrumbs, dividing evenly. Drizzle over with about 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Place dishes on a large rimmed baking sheet and tent with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and set under broiler for no more than 5 minutes to brown lightly. Serve hot.

bacon recipe source: Joseph Erdos, The Seattle Times, January 30, 2013

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