It's Macaroni and Cheese Day!

Everyone has a macaroni and cheese recipe they love, even if it's the one from the box! 

Here is one of my favourites that has a bacon crust and is perfect baked on a smoker or grill for an added smoky flavour. Comfort food at its best, enjoy! 

Smoked Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy bubbly cheese envelopes elbow macaroni in this perfect get together favourite. Keep the heat outside and using the smoker will offer up a hint of smokiness to the dish. 

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 55 minutes

Serves: 6 to 8

2 tbsp (30 mL) butter

2 tbsp (30 mL) all purpose flour

2 cups (500 mL) 35% whipping cream

1 small clove garlic, rasped

3 cups (750 mL) shredded old cheddar

2 tbsp (30 mL) buffalo hot sauce

1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream

3 cups (750 mL) cooked elbow macaroni

3/4 cup (175 mL) panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped cooked bacon

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley

Prepare smoker to 350ºF (180ºC) or heat grill over medium heat to reach temperature. Turn off one side and retain temperature. 

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in cream and garlic. Cook, whisking gently for about 6 minutes or until starting to bubble and thicken. Reduce heat to low; stir in cheese. Remove from heat and stir until cheese is melted. Stir in buffalo sauce, salt and pepper. Whisk in sour cream. Stir in cooked macaroni to coat thoroughly. Scrape into buttered cast iron skillet. 

In a small bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, bacon and parsley. Sprinkle evenly over top of macaroni and cheese. 

Place skillet in preheated smoker for about 45 minutes or until bubbly around edges. 

Oven variation: If you don’t have a smoker cook macaroni and cheese in 350ºF (180ºC) oven for about 45 minutes.

Make ahead: Stir macaroni and cheese and place into baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bake as above and add about 15 minutes or until heated through. 


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