Well, I’m gonna need you to forgive the lack of images during this process. I was actually pretty hungry and neglected the camera while I was making everything. But since I am so descriptive and write so very well I figure you may be able to follow my story like skills and make this thing at home.
Just in case you were not aware, ol’ HankBob is a huge fan of Mac n’ Cheese, I’m also a huge fan of my smoker, and add to that my evercrave of bacon. Combining all of those things have lead me down the path of smoked Mac many times over, but today I needed a new step and just had to share my joy.
I really need you to understand, this dish did not NEED to be fried, nor did it ASK to be fried. I just decided that I wanted to see what would happen IF it was fried. I was a little worried, I was a little scared but true deliciousness managed to persevere.
Now that you know the story, lemme tell ya how to do it (just in case you want to try this at home).
- 1 lb bacon (cut)
- 1- 1/2 cups of heavy cream
- 3 cloves garlic (pureed)
- 1/2 sweet onion (pureed)
- 2 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp black pepper
- 16 oz of shredded – Parmesan, mozzarella, asiago
- 16 oz cheddar cheese (separated in half)
- 1 lb of Pene Rigate
- 1/2 cup of crumbled Cheez-Itz (I like hot and spicy)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 eggs
- A strong arm
- A desire to wash dishes
- No fear of a high caloric intake
Here is what to do!
Take the cut bacon and add to your pan and get it good and fried up (do not drain). Once the bacon is fried go ahead and add the pureed onion and garlic to the pan. Give that a few whisks to just get the everything blending a bit. Now pour the heavy cream and eggs and bring to a semi-boil (I have no idea what you would really call that).
While the cream and bacon and garlic and onion is getting heated go ahead and get ready to use some cheese. My favorite part is tasting the cheese while I’m waiting so I don’t think I ever really get 16 oz of each cheese in the pot.
We now need to go ahead and pour the cream sauce into a pot on medium low heat because you’re gonna need more room than your pan will allow unless you are using a crazy big pan. Slowly start to add your cheese, whisking it in slowly. You will need to continue stirring to make sure that you don’t burn the cheese to the bottom of the pot. This is the part that will require a strong arm, keep adding and stirring until all of the cheese (only half of the cheddar) has been added and is completely melted.
Hopefully while all of that adding and stirring was going on, you were boiling up the Pene is a separate pot. Yeah, I know, I forgot to mention this earlier but you do have to boil the noodles. Go ahead and strain the noodles and add them to the pot of cheese sauce.
Stir all of the noodles in, let ‘em get good and covered and gooey so that every single noodle is covered. Pour everything from the pot into a casserole dish.
Now here comes the fun part… Cover with the remaining cheddar cheese.
Place the Cheez-Itz and the butter in your food processor (if you don’t have one just use a blender) to make a nice crust, put the crust over the top of everything.
Cover and place into the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Make sure your smoker is fired up and has reached about 250 degrees, remove the dish from the oven and place in the smoker uncovered for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes and the mac is ready to serve and eat…
Now, if you want to go a little crazy. Take an extra couple of tbsp of butter and put into a pan. Add a couple of healthy scoops of the mac n’ cheese to the pan and fry it in butter for a few minutes. Believe it or not this totally changes the flavor, to a very nice buttery, smokey, fried, delicious wonderland of taste-bud explosion!
Hope you enjoy.