Dinner - Emeril's Three-Cheese Baked Macaroni
Tonight's dinner was nice and easy. It was a great one that Matt and I could fix up together, and it didn't take long to make. It is from an issue of Everyday Food magazine, from a section called "Cooking with Emeril". (I have forgotten to write down the issue number, but it had to have been one from the past year as it was still in library archives.)
It was a good thing this meal was as quick and delicious as it was, since tonight I am feeling gross. You know the feeling, I'm sure. Stuffed up nose, gross thick cough, and just all around tired. I am getting sick (again). Not fair. So, the gross feeling led me to skip hula class tonight (the one thing I look forward to every week!! BOO!) and lay around the house, mainly in bed, watching TV. Double shift tomorrow is going to be awful. (In other words, sorry if this post is incoherent.)
OK enough complaining. The meal was delicious!! Emeril knows his stuff, which I guess everyone already should know. I think I will be searching out more recipes from him soon.
Generally, I'm not a fan of vegetables/meats that are added to macaroni and cheese. Matt and I often have this conversation, and we have decided that it becomes something else. Like a regular casserole or something. Anyways, this meal has just a slight alteration to the classic, so slight that it doesn't fall into casserole category.
Emeril adds a few strips of bacon, as well as some garlic and the unconventional macaroni and cheese combo of cayenne pepper and nutmeg. The mac has a wonderful flavor, with just enough garlic, a hint of meaty smokiness from the bacon, and a little dash of savory sweetness from the spices. This dish seems to be a keeper in our house already.
Emeril's Three-Cheese Baked Macaroni
-1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
-1/2 pound elbow macaroni
-3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces
-1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (we used fresh garlic, 1 large and 1 small clove)
-3 large eggs
-1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar (6 ounces)
-1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (2 ounces) (For the cheeses, we just subbed an 8oz bag of cheddar-Jack blend shredded cheese)
-1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (1 ounce) (We used shredded Romano cheese)
**Note about the recipe: Emeril wants to you cook this meal at the insanely hot temperature of 475 degrees. I was unsure of the hottest my casserole dish could handle, so we actually cooked the meal at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, until it was bubbly.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Cook macaroni 6 minutes (it will be undercooked) and drain.
In small skillet, cook bacon (we used precooked re-heated in microwave), add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Transfer bacon mixture to a medium bowl and add cooked macaroni, stirring.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs and evaporated milk. Add salt, cayenne, nutmeg, and cheeses and mix. Add macaroni mixture and stir to combine.
Place into casserole dish and spread evenly. (I reserved some cheese to top the mixture.)
Bake until just bubbling, about 12 minutes. Let cool 10 minues before serving.
Serves 4-6, with about 485 calories per serving...but if you are eating mac and cheese you probably shouldn't be worrying about the calories in it!
*Another side note, I find this as a great alternative to the mac and cheese dishes you find while eating at restaurants.