Smoky Bacon Maple Bourbon Mac and Cheese
- 1 Lb elbow macaroni
- 1/2 Cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Cups whole milk
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 Tablespoon sea salt
- 2 Cups Gouda cheese, shredded
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 4 strips bacon
- 4 Tablespoons Low Country Maple Bourbon Hot Sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 375F and grease a 9x13 casserole pan with 1 tablespoon butter.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon sea salt to water and cook pasta till al dente, draining.
- Slice bacon into 1/4 inch strips and saute in fry pan over medium heat till crispy and brown, about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove bacon from pan and set aside.
- In pan with bacon grease, add flour and stir until well combined with bacon fat. Cook flour mixture over medium heat for a minute, add garlic and cook another minute,add milk slowly 1/4 cup at a time. Stirring constantly with a whisk, until all the milk is well blended and a thick white sauce has formed
- Simmer white sauce for another minute and then remove from heat, mix in cheeses, bacon and 2 Tablespoon of Low Country Maple Bourbon Hot Sauce until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste and then fold in cooked macaroni.
- Pour mixture into casserole pan and spread evenly.
- Melt remaining butter and combine with bread crumbs. Spread bread crumb mixture evenly over top of macaroni and bake for 30 minutes or until top is browned and crisp or sauce is bubbling.
- Cool for ten minutes, top with remaining Low Country Maple Bourbon Hot Sauce and serve.