Homemade pimento cheese is one of my very favorite things on this green Earth. I would also say the same for a good homemade macaroni & cheese. So, to combine the two – and then add bacon for good measure, just seemed natural.
I made crab cakes for dinner the other evening, and as I’d mentioned in Monday’s post – I’ve been kind of seafood-ed out lately. So I wanted to do a side dish that was amped up enough to be a meal on it’s own. I kind of threw this together with things I had on hand, and it turned out so unbelievably wonderful. I know it will be one we come back to again and again!
Bacon Pimento Macaroni & Cheese
2 cups elbow macaroni
4 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
2 cups milk
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
5 dashes hot sauce
1 (4 oz) jar pimentos, drained
5 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
Preaheat oven to 350.
Fill a large saucepan with water, and bring to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt to the water. Add the pasta, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside.
In the same saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, and whisk constantly for about 3 minutes…until the flour mixture is a light amber in color. Add in the mustard powder. Slowly whisk in the milk, and continue to whisk for about 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and add the shredded cheddar cheese and a few dashes of hot sauce, whisking until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pasta back into the saucepan with the cheese sauce and toss to coat. Stir in the drained pimentos and cooked bacon.
Pour into a medium sized baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes uncovered, until starting to brown on top and bubbling around the edges.