I don't really like mac and cheese. Even as a kid, I never ate it. The wife is the same way - when she makes it for our kids she's not even tempted to try it. Dean, my four-year-old son didn't fall too far from the tree and has only eaten it under extreme protest.
The other day, she sprinkled Bacon Salt on the mac and cheese she was making for lunch for the kids - and Dean ate 3 helpings of it. Intrigued, she tried it herself and... actually... liked it. It was painful for her to admit.
So while this has passed the family testing process for plain old boxed mac n cheese, I thought I'd post a little fancier baked version of it on our blog:
Bacon Salt Mac and Cheese
1 pound macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp or white cheddar, shredded
3-4 teaspoons Bacon Salt (Original works best)
Fresh black pepper
For the topping:
5 tablespoons butter
2 cups panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente. Melt the butter and whisk in the flour and 1/2 the Bacon Salt until it's lump-free. Stir in the milk and simmer on medium-low for 4-5 minutes. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese and the egg. Mix in the macaroni and pour into a casserole dish, then top with remaining cheese.
Melt the butter and the other 1/2 of the Bacon Salt, then toss in the bread crumbs. Use as a topper for the macaroni, then bake for 30 minutes until browned.
I'm sure there are lots of variations on and additions to this that would be excellent (I'm thinking crab meat, ground beef, tomatoes and ham could all be good additions) - but hopefully this will get you started!