Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Kentucky Hot Brown Mac and Cheese

Home improvements are not my thing.  I'm single and apparently not very handy.  I can wield a paint roller like nobody's business but when it comes to much more than that, forget about it.  Here's the thing though--between projects I don't seem to think about how bad I am at these things.  Then I spend hours perusing Pinterest and I think, "I can do that".  Wrong.  I cannot do that.  Then I watch Rehab Addict and Nicole Curtis makes everything look so easy.  Two episodes of that show and I want to take a sledge hammer to my walls and open up spaces that don't even exist.  

I think it's time I bring awareness to this disorder that I have.  I'm calling it Home Improvement Amnesia, or HIA.  It's a serious issue that needs to come to the forefront.  I will shed some light on it.  You see, my house is full of those horrendous wire shelves.  It is my goal to rip every single one of them down.  I just have one left to go.  Who came up with this idea of wire shelving?  Did this person ever try to actually put things on these shelves or were they just thinking aesthetics?  (By the way, they aren't even aesthetically pleasing.)  This brings me to my laundry "nook".  It's not an actual room.  Just a washer and dryer, and of course a wire shelf, behind two pantry doors.  It also houses my hot water heater.  I won't even go into attempting to paint behind that thing.  After watching way too many episodes of the Property Brothers, I got out my screwdriver and pliers and went to work removing this stupid shelf.  After two days, it was finally down and I was able to paint which as I mentioned, is my specialty.  Not so much the cutting in part but the rolling.  Anywho, it's all painted and I just attempted to put up a new, solid shelf that my items will actually sit on.  Needless to say, I'm now writing a blog post because I am not handy.  At all. 

Obviously I am frustrated and the only thing that can cure my frustration is comfort food. My perfect idea of comfort food? Mac and Cheese. This is Mac and Cheese kicked up a notch though: Kentucky Hot Brown Mac and Cheese. Oh yeah. Smokey, meaty, creamy, Delish.  It will pretty much fix any mood from sad to frustrated. 

Plus, bacon. So you know it can't be wrong. 

Kentucky Hot Brown Mac and Cheese                                            Printer Friendly


5 slices bacon
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 quart milk
Pinch of nutmeg
3 cups Swiss cheese
1 cup turkey, chopped
Tomato, diced for garnish 
Breadcrumbs, for garnish
Salt and pepper 
1 pound pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions. 

Meanwhile, in a dutch oven or large sauce pan, cook bacon over medium low heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer to a foil lined baking sheet. Place in a cold oven. Turn oven to 400 degrees and cook for 10-15 minutes or until bacon is done. Place on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside. 

In the same pan, melt butter. Sprinkle in flour. Cook for 5 minutes or until roux has thickened. Slowly whisk in milk, 1 cup at a time.   Add pinch of nutmeg. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in turkey and cheese. Add pasta to sauce and mix until well incorporated.  

Preheat a shallow skillet over medium heat. Toast breadcrumbs for about 4 minutes. Sprinkle on top of each bowl of pasta. Also garnish with diced tomatoes and crumbled bacon. 


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