Friday night is kids night at my place. It is my husbands pub night, so the kids get to choose what they want to eat and it usually something my husband won't eat. My kids after a week of school get to do whatever they like on Friday night, watch whatever movie they like, play games all night, Friday night is you do what want night and I'm okay with that. As for me Friday nights are get into pajamas as soon I get home from school pick ups and enjoy a pajama sparkling wine night. Everybody is happy on a Friday night.
I made these in individual dishes but you can make a whole family sized serve. Just make it then put it in a large ovenproof dish rather than individual dishes.
If you have never made mac 'n' cheese you need to try it, this was so easy to make and packed full of flavour.
6 rashers hickory smoked middle bacon, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/3 cup (35g) plain flour
3 cups (750ml) milk
1/2 cup (40g) finely grated parmesan
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 cups (240g) coarsely grated cheddar cheese
Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of boiling water following packet directions or until al dente. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan (or large frying pan) over medium heat. Cook bacon, stirring, for 5 minutes or until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl. Add butter to the pan and stir until the butter melts.
Add the paprika and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until the mixture is slightly grainy. Add the milk in slowly and use a balloon whisk to stir until well combined. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in parmesan, bacon, spring onion and three-quarters of the cheddar. Season with pepper, taste before adding salt, as bacon and parmesan are salty, season with salt, if needed.
Preheat your grill. Stir macaroni into the sauce. Spoon evenly among six 1 1/2 cup (375ml) ovenproof dishes. Top with remaining cheddar. Cook under the grill for 3-5 minutes or until golden and heated through.
Serve hot with a green salad.
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