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Triple Bacon Sweet Corn Mac ‘n Cheese

*bacon infused cream and chopped in the mac ‘n cheese and chopped bacon for garnish By: Cristen www.foodandswine.com
Author: Cristen

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C onion minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon of reserved bacon fat from cooking bacon
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups bacon infused cream *see above
  • 1 cup 2% milk can use any milk
  • 1 cup Monterrey jack cheese shredded
  • 1.5 cups mild cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 ½ tsp dry mustard powder
  • ½ tsp salt adjust to taste
  • ¼ tsp pepper adjust to taste
  • 1-15 oz.can of sweet corn drained or 2 cups of frozen sweet corn, drained
  • 1 pound cellentani/cavatappi or other shape pasta cooked & drained

For Garnish:

  • 1 lb. smoked bacon cooked, chop ¾ of the bacon, leave ¼ in strips
  • 3 TBSP chopped fresh chives *optional for freshness

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan or stock pot, re-heat reserved bacon fat over medium heat, add butter. Add onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes until translucent and tender. Add flour and stir for 1 minute, to cook raw flour taste out. Whisk in heavy cream and milk. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until mixture is reduced by one fourth and has thickened. Stir or whisk in cheeses until melted, creamy and thickened. Add mustard powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper, mix well.  Stir in corn, cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and gently stir in pasta and ½ of chopped bacon. Let stand 5 minutes (the sauce will stick to the noodles better when serving.)  Garnish with remaining chopped bacon and chives if desired.  Serve immediately, or

Bacon Infused Cream Recipe:

  • You’ll use 2 pieces of cooked bacon per 1 cup of cream. (depending on the thickness of the bacon, this could be 1 strip of thick bacon per 1 cup of cream instead).  More bacon simmered with cream = more bacon flavor in mac 'n cheese.
  • Simmer fully cooked bacon pieces with heavy cream in a large saucepan for 5-10 minutes. Do not fully boil, just a slow simmer will do.  Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer.  Reserve cream to use in Bacon Sweet Corn Mac ‘n Cheese, Bacon Infused Caramel Sauce or chill to make bacon whipped cream!

Notes

Notes on Cheese: Pre-shredded cheeses have additional stabilizers in them to ‘hold their shape’.  For this dish, I recommend blocks of cheese that you grate yourself.  They don’t have to be expensive!  Also, use pepperjack instead of monterrey jack for an extra kick! Notes on Making Ahead: You can certainly make this dish ahead of time and reheat it. If you like a crisp top on your mac ‘n cheese, make this recipe and put it in a 9x13 pan.  Refrigerate until you’re ready to bake or bake right away in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes if warm, and 30 minutes if previously refrigerated.