Bacon Mac N Cheese Nachos where have you been all my life? It’s the perfect party bite that goes splendidly with a margarita. The crunch of the tortilla chip, the smokiness of the bacon and the creaminess of the cheese all come together to deliver flavor, crunch and the promise of a fun party.
These mac and cheese nachos happened quite by accident at my husband’s birthday party. Carnitas, guacamole and bacon mac n cheese, just a few of his favorite things, adorned the dinner table. My friend, Susan, brought the macaroni and cheese, topping it with bacon instead of bread crumbs. Towards the end of the meal, I found myself scooping mac and cheese with those little tortilla chip scoopers and the mac n cheese nacho with bacon was born.
The next day, I kept thinking about all the possibilities of the mac n cheese nacho. Tweaking the sharp cheese recipe, one could add a spicy pepper dice, or mix in some pepper jack cheese. On that note, sometimes kids don’t like spicy and this milder bacon mac and cheese is pretty near perfection as is.
Bacon Mac N Cheese Nachos are a heavy appetizer, perfect for poker night as I put them in the man food category. The creative cooking crew gave us a challenge this month. A bite of food. We’ve already done amuse bouche, so I wasn’t exactly sure how to interpret the challenge.
I had a completely different bite of seafood pasta prepared, but then I just couldn’t resist using this instead. This truly is one fun bite of food. I live in the South where mac and cheese and bacon is served in every fine dining restaurant. Why not serve it first?
You can use any creamy mac and cheese recipe, perhaps exchange some of the cheese with pepper jack. We looked to Homeroom for a recipe. I remember meeting co-founder, Allison Arevalo years ago in San Francisco long before Homeroom was was born. She told me at the time she wanted “to do” something with food for a living, and do she did. Homeroom is a successful restaurant in Oakland and there is a cookbook. They do a sriracha mac and cheese which is perfect option for the nachos. Maybe if she reads this, she’ll put bacon mac n cheese nachos on the menu.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- Pasta & Grains
- 1 lb Macaroni
- Baking & Spices
- 2 tablespoon sea salt, divided
- ½ cup Flour
- 2 tablespoons Salt
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 3 oz Pecorino romano cheese (option replace with pepper jack cheese)
- 8 oz Tillamook Sharp White Cheddar cheese
- 4 cups Milk
- 8 tbsp Butter
- 6 slices smokey bacon
- 1 bag scoop type tortilla chips
- pinch cayenne pepper (option)
- You can make whole order of mac and cheese and freeze half for later. You will probably not use the whole thing.
- Cook elbow macaroni according to directions minus a minute (al dente).
- For the béchamel:
- Heat milk in saucepan on medium-high to simmer, not boil. Turn off.
- Melt bottom in large saucepan on med. heat.
- Make a roux. Add flour to butter and whisk until it turns light brown. Turn heat off, continue whisking and add hot milk until mixture is fully incorporated and smooth. I
- Turn heat back on to medium and whisk constantly until the sauce is thick about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in one tablespoon of sea salt, and taste to see if you want more salt. Keep in mind that pecorino romano is a salty cheese.
- Stir in cheeses until fully incorporated.
- Stir in drained macaroni and pour into a baking dish.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
- If serving as a mac and cheese course, top with crispy bacon bits.
- Spoon warmed mac and cheese into tortilla scoops.
- Top with smoked bacon.
- You can prepare right before guests arrive and put under the broiler to heat up.
If making for this appetizer, skip the breadcrumbs.
The creative cooking crew round-up will take place tomorrow over at Foodalogue, and you can always go to the Pinterest Board to see all the Creative Cooking Challenges.