Cheddar cheese. Bacon. Macaroni. Nothing more needs to be said.
The other night, I received some requests via email from a couple of fans of Amazing Recipes which is my recipe page on Facebook (hint—you can like the page from here——>) for recipes I make in my rice cooker since I have talked about the rice cooker on that page and on my regular Facebook Fan Page.
This is one of those recipes! It’s totally ready to eat straight out of the rice cooker, but I like to put it in a casserole with buttered bread crumbs on the top and brown it off a bit. More visually appealing, IMO.
The secret here to keep the sauce creamy so it doesn’t separate–even when reheated (what? you had some left over????) is Velveeta. You can make the sauce entirely with Velveeta if you like but I use half Velveeta and half of a good sharp yellow cheddar.
If you’re dieting, bypass this entirely because it’s chock FULL of fat and calories. Don’t let the nutrition information put you in a coma–I told you so. But sometimes we just WANT IT and so I advise EAT IT, but control the portion.
Directions are for a 7-cup rice cooker, however I will note conventional cooking methods at the end.
Classic Cheddar Bacon Macaroni & Cheese
Author: Judith Hannemann
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- Water to cover macaroni about ¼-inch above the macaroni in the rice cooker pot
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp oil or butter
- For the sauce:
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk (I generally mix 1½ cups milk with ½ cup half and half cream)
- 1 cup cubed Velveeta
- 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar
- 2-3 strips of crisp bacon, diced
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- For the topping:
- 1 cup soft breadcrumbs
- 1 tbs butter, melted
- Place the macaroni, water, salt and oil in bowl of 7-cup rice cooker. Set rice cooker to COOK. Check macaroni in about 10 minute. If water is almost absorbed, switch cooker to WARM. When water is absorbed, the cooker will automatically switch to keep warm mode, but it’s better in this case to catch this before it does. However, if it has already gone to keep warm, it’s no tragedy, but some elbows on the bottom may have started to brown (which is perfectly OK). Leave the cooked elbows in the rice cooker’s pot.
- Add sauce ingredients to cooked macaroni in the rice cooker’s pot. Switch cooker to COOK and with lid open, stir until cheeses are melted. Close lid and cook for about 5 minutes, or until sauce is reduced by 25%.
- While sauce is reducing, mix breadcrumbs with the melted butter. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease a 1.5 quart deep casserole.
- Add macaroni and sauce to prepared baking dish. Top with buttered bread crumbs.
- Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until sauce bubbles along the edges and the crumbs are nicely browned.
- Serves 4-6
- **For Conventional Cooking**
- Cook elbows as per package directions; drain and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan ,combine sauce ingredients, except for bacon. Stir constantly over medium heat until cheeses are melted. Reduce heat and stir constantly until sauce is slightly reduced (about 25%). Add the bacon and cooked, drained macaroni. Proceed from here as in the directions above.
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