Monday, March 28, 2011

Ultimate Mac & Cheese

I LOVE macaroni and cheese! It is the ultimate comfort food, and I love trying new recipes for it, searching for the perfect one! The cooks on Food Network make it look so easy, but my mac & cheese never turns out correctly - the sauce is always grainy or chunky instead of smooth and it just lacks SOMETHING! I also love Tyler Florence. He is so handsome, he's from South Carolina (love me some Southern boys!), and besides being a fabulous cook, he also seems to be a really good guy. So when I found the recipe for his "ultimate" mac & cheese, I knew I had to try it. Since I never have any luck making this dish, I decided to read the comments for pointers and I am so glad I did! One home cook wrote that in order to achieve a smooth sauce, it's important to remove the milk mixture from the heat and very slowly add the shredded cheese, whisking until the cheese is melted and incorporated before adding more. This technique TOTALLY works! I am amazed! To take it up a notch to almost gourmet proportions, I added some chopped Benton's bacon, the Holy Grail of pork, to the mix. And Panko . . . Panko makes everything magically delicious . . . so I sprinkled a bit on top for crunchiness. I am literally chomping at the bit to get a heaping helping of this mac & cheese and I have a big ol' batch in the oven right now. I think it might just be the ultimate - thanks, Tyler!!

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