The old Barney song goes, “Macaroni, Macaroni Mac and Cheese, Three times daily pretty please,” which is an indication of how very popular this particular dish is.
They say mac ‘n cheese can heal skinned knees and mend broken hearts. This is hearty, delicious, comfort food at its best no doubt, but there are several ways that can be used to vary this dish in a number of different ways. This adds not only taste but also variety.
Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon: If there is one flavor that goes superbly with that of good ole Mac n’ cheese it would have to be the smoky, rich flavor of bacon.
Cut into pieces but don’t chop the bacon too fine; the chewy little pieces of bacon in this dish are what impart a matchless flavor.
This sinful addition to an already sinful dish is strictly for those who have no weight worries; it is a calorie dense dish to put it mildly!
Teamed with the flavors of gruyere cheese cheddar cheese, this one can get an added kick with some minced onion and garlic as well. You could try offsetting the sinfulness of the dish with a healthy green salad on the side.
Spicy Mac n Cheese: By itself it may not be a spicy dish but Mac and cheese can be made spicy by adding a number of different ingredients to the same basic preparation: mustard, freshly ground pepper (black or white for a milder flavor), hot pepper sauce, and even some chili powder.
The kind of cheese that you use can also be sharper in flavor, so that the spices do not overpower its flavor.
Four Cheese Mac & Cheese: For this kind of mac and cheese, equal parts of Muenster cheese, cheddar cheese, sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese is recommended.
In the four cheese recipe, eggs are also often used with freshly ground black pepper adding an interesting counter balance in terms of flavor.
Ham and cheese macaroni: It is recommended that you use farfalle macaroni (derived from the Italian word for butterfly but also known as bowtie macaroni) for this dish.
Julienned pieces of cooked ham offer a delicious counterpoint to this dish. Black pepper, mustard and just a hint of chopped garlic add layers of flavor to the dish. The best sort of cheese to use is Colby cheese, with Parmesan to top it off.
Photo Credit: Ktepi