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5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with Prosciutto

★★★★


  • 16 oz box elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 4 ounces prosciutto (chopped)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 oz. cup goat cheese (crumbled)
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
  • 2 oz. Asiago cheese (shredded)
  • 2 oz. Parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup coarse bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cook the elbow macaroni to “al dente” in boiling water.
While the macaroni is cooking melt the butter and bacon fat in a small dutch oven and fry the prosciutto in the fats until it is slightly crispy.
Add the flour and cook, while stirring, to completely incorporate the flour (no lumps).
Add the pepper, dry mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and blend in well.
Reduce heat, add the milk and stir until the sauce is thickened and bubbly. Do not boil.
Turn off the heat and add all the cheeses, and stir until it is completely melted.
Drain the macaroni (if you have not already done so) and fold the cheese sauce into it.
Pour this into two 13×9-inch glass baking dishes sprayed with cooking spray. Prepare the crumb topping by combining the bread crumbs with the butter. Top the casserole with an even layer of the crumb topping.
Bake this (uncovered) in a 350º F oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until very bubbly.

This was good. This was very good. This was also very welcome on yet another rainy dreary day. I love spring and I am good with an occasional spring soaking, but this has been overkill lately. For every sunny day we seem to get 4 rainy ones! Comfort food was certainly in order today.

I doubled the original recipe because macaroni and cheese goes fast in our house. I wasn’t real sure how I would like the goat cheese in this, but I found a wedge of goat cheese instead of the tub of the pre-crumbled that I usually buy. I think it tasted slightly more mild, the flavor definitely came through, but not to the point of overpowering all other flavors.

I keep a glass jar in my fridge with bacon fat in it for recipes like this. On occasion I like to cheat and use bacon bits when a recipe calls for cooked and crumbled bacon. Often times those same recipes expect you to reserve some of the bacon grease to cook with. This is my little shortcut around that. The prosciutto I picked up in the deli and asked them to cut it a little thicker than it normally comes. This made it easier to work with. It also was much more dry than what I’ve been getting prepackaged. The cheese measurements I did not strictly adhere too. I used the whole chunk of goat cheese, because honestly after this meal, it wouldn’t have gotten used before it went bad. As the Asiago and Parmesan also came in a wedge, I just guesstimated the measurement. Someday I would love to have a good kitchen scale so I can measure by weight instead of by “cup”. For the crumb topping, after a picnic last year we had an abundance of left over hamburger buns. These we threw in the freezer, once frozen we found they were very easy to crumble, so now I have bags of pre-crumbled bread crumbs to top casseroles with. For this macaroni however, next time I will use dry breadcrumbs, I like that bit of crunch.

All in all it was a very simple recipe, although it had lots of ingredients. Ideally I should have had all my cheeses shredded ahead of time, by not doing so it made the preparation take much longer than it should have.

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