Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 16,2014~Tater Tot Goat Cheese Mac and Cheese

Now for a break from your regularly scheduled programming! I present what could be the greatest macaroni and cheese to ever exists! It combines all off my favorite foods! Mac and cheese, goat cheese, bacon, and tater tots! It was inspired by this post on buzzfeed, as soon as I saw it the wheels started turning!

Now you can use whatever tots you want but I would recommend the Alexa Potato Puffs. The filling has a hint of cream cheese and chive and they are seasoned with cracked black pepper and garlic so they add a lot of flavor on their own! Also for the cheese I use a mac and cheese blend from Stop & Shop that is sharp cheddar, american, and swiss cheeses...If you want to be real fancy I would use a sharp cheddar and gruyere or fontina but I didn't want to make a $20 mac and cheese!  Let's just get on with it...I could talk this up all day!

Serving: 3 as an entree 4 if it was a side dish 

  • 1/2 pound cavatappi pasta --you can use whatever you want this is just what I prefer, I think it holds to the cheese better...but really anything with lines is good
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk--I usually use whole but whatever is fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese; save 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 bag tater tots--how much you need depends on what you are making it in you want enough to cover the top
  • 4 slices worth of crumbled bacon, or if you are lazy like I am you can use the precooked real bacon bits

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook cavatappi and cook al dente. It should have a slight bite to it  Drain and set aside. While that is happening you want to par bake the tater tots. I cooked mine for about 20 minutes; you don't need to worry about them being cooked through or rotating them since they will finish cooking on the mac and cheese. 
    2. Melt the butter in the large pot you cooked the pasta in. Add the flour and whisk until you have a paste.  Slowly add the milk while whisking until there are no more clumps.  Add seasonings and cheeses while still whisking; until the sauce is thick and all the cheese is melted.
    3. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir, and mix in about 3/4 of the bacon. Put the mac and cheese into a large casserole and then top with an even layer of the tots and a sprinkling of bacon and shredded cheese.
    4. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the tots are a golden brown.
    5. Experience the awesomeness! 

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