Homemade Kraft Mac-n-Cheese

It’s just like it…velvety, creamy, orange (ish)…

but, it’s homemade and has BACON!

Oh yeah, let’s start cooking…

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Perfection.  You’ll need a 1/2 pound of this delicious ingredient.  I love the hickory smoked the best, so that’s what I lean towards.  But you can use applewood smoked, smoke it yourself, or any other smoky bacon for this fabulous mac-n-cheese.

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Chop it up…

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Fry it until you see the corners really start to crisp and get that gorgeous deep red color and let it drain on a paper towel lined plate….

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Don’t throw away that bacon grease!   No, no, no…this is the magic that imparts all the flavor into this delicious concoction!

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Add 4 tablespoons of bacon grease to a heavy, large pot over medium heat.

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Ooooo, what a great base!

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Add 1/4 cup of flour and whisk to make a roux (French word that means flour and fat cooked together to thicken a sauce).  Whisk for about 3-4 minutes, to get rid of the flour taste.  Whisking constantly, slowly add 2 cups whole milk to the roux.

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Add 1 teaspoon salt and a heaping teaspoon pepper.

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Continue whisking…

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until it comes to a gentle boil…

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grate 2 cups (8 ounces) of cheese, I have 4 oz of orange cheddar and 4 oz of monterey jack (you can use all of one or the other, add a 3rd, use different kinds, whatever you fancy… or go all orange if you want the authentic look of Kraft’s!)

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Take the pan off the heat.  Slowly add cheese to beautiful roux and stir as you add…if the sauce seems a bit thick to you, you may add a bit more milk to thin it out as you like…

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Cook small shell pasta till a little under al dente.

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Add cooked shells to glorious cheese sauce.

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Add a pinch more salt, plenty of pepper, and…

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about a teaspoon of seasoned salt…

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Yum!

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Mix all that gooey, smoky, cheesy flavorful pasta till combined.

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Serve hot, sprinkled with your reserved cooked bacon and chives for freshness and added beauty.  Try not to eat it all in one sitting!

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!

 

 

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