Stephanie Izard's Mac 'n Cheese w/ Apples & Bacon Recipe

Stephanie Izard's Mac 'n Cheese w/ Apples & Bacon

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3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups ciabatta cubes (about 6 ounces of ciabatta bread, cubed)
1 small onion, halved
6 cups whole milk
4 ounces bacon (3-4 strips), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, cubed
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 ounces sopressatta
4 ounces cooked ham, shredded or chopped
1 pound conchiglie pasta
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 ounces aged cheddar (1 cup grated)
6 ounces whole milk mozzarella (1 1/2 cup grated)
4 ounces smoked gouda (1 cup grated)
4 ounces havarti (1 cup grated)

How to make Stephanie Izard's Mac 'n Cheese w/ Apples & Bacon

Stephanie Izard's Macaroni and Four Cheeses with Apples and Bacon Breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large Dutch oven or saucepot over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, steeping in the butter for about 1 minute, until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Remove from the heat and add the bread cubes to the pot, tossing to coat them in the garlic butter. Spread the butter-coated cubes across a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, until the bread is very crisp. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Put the onion and the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the milk to a bare simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching the bottom.

While the milk simmers, return the Dutch oven to the stove over medium heat. When the pot is hot again, add the bacon pieces and render until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside with the cooling bread cubes. Add the apples to the hot fat in the pan, sautéing for 1-2 minutes, until the apples are just soft (not mushy). Remove the apples with a slotted spoon to a large mixing bowl. Add the vinegar and toss to coat. Add the sopressatta to the hot pan and sauté to crisp the meat, 1-2 minutes. Mix the sopressatta and the ham with the apples and set aside.

Put the cooled bread cubes and bacon in a food processor and pulse several times to form bread crumbs.

Cook the macaroni to al dente, according to the package directions.

As the pasta cooks, melt the remaining 1/4 cup of butter in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk together, forming a thick paste, or a roux. Let the roux cook for a minute or so, until it begins to smell nutty. Strain the milk and discard the onion. Slowly add the hot milk to the roux, about 1/2-1 cup at a time, whisking well to avoid lumps. Continue incorporating the milk until a thick sauce forms. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of mozzarella and add the rest of the cheese to the sauce, stirring as it melts.

When the pasta is done, strain it and add it to the cheese sauce along with the apple mixture. Stir to combine all of the ingredients and pour into a 13x9-inch baking dish. Cover the macaroni and cheese with the bacon breadcrumbs and scatter the reserved 1/2 cup of mozzarella on top. Put the dish on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Broil the top until the breadcrumbs are golden and the cheese is bubbly.

(Serve immediately or hold in a 300° F oven for about 30 minutes).

Question from the Chef

“What's your favorite non-traditional mac 'n cheese recipe?”

    HONEYDEW says

    YUM!!!!! That looks so good & I love ciabatta! Thanks!

  • Jaylene
    Jaylene says

    O: Is that you, Stephanie Izard from Top Chef? That looks yummy as much as the food you created on the show! :D

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