Each week this season, my wife will be sharing a recipe that any Vikings fan can make in the comfort of their own home. For last week’s dish click here. Enjoy!
– Adam Patrick
When I was thinking about a food I wanted to make, and eat, for this week I tried to get some inspiration from the game as a whole. I started to think about everything separately: the field, the players, the jerseys, the helmets, and then I stopped at the football.
Footballs are made of pig skin and like any other normal American, the thought of pig skin made me start to think about bacon… I am salivating just thinking about bacon again.
Since this is where my brain stopped I knew I needed to do something with bacon and like last week’s Buttercream Frosted Sugar Cookies, I wanted something that can easily be brought to wherever you watch the game and consumed while on the couch.
I was thinking about foods that go well with bacon but everything goes well with bacon so that wasn’t going to get me very far. I knew I wanted Mac n’ Cheese for dinner this week so I started to think about pairing the two in a way that would make them bite sized and immediately thought of my cupcake pan. The only problem was that if I put mac n’ cheese in the cupcake pan, I needed to have some sort of liner to make sure the pasta didn’t get stuck to it and then I had my light bulb moment – I can make the bacon the liner!
Although you can use your favorite boxed mac n’ cheese, or your own recipe, I included my recipe since I only make my own and I like mine incredibly cheesy. There will be more than enough mac n’ cheese for the recipe and to have leftovers for the week.
The end results truly made Adam and I just as excited as a touchdown would get any true Vikings fan. The saltiness of the bacon helped flavor the mac n’ cheese on top of the flavors the cheeses provide. Pair the salt with the spice you get from the pepper jack and dash of cayenne and you have a true flavor explosion. The cups stayed together perfectly and every bite was truly delectable.
Bacon Mac n’ Cheese Cups
- 1 box elbows
- 1 ½ cups of heavy cream
- 1 cup mozzarella
- 1 cup cheddar
- ¾ cup pepper jack
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dash of cayenne
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 teaspoons bread crumbs separated into ¼ teaspoons
- 20 slices bacon (to make 12 cups)
- Cook the pasta in well salted water until al dente;
- You do not want to cook the pasta all the way or it will get mushy during baking;
- Once the pasta is cooked and strained, you may leave it in the strainer and make the cheese sauce in the same pan;
- Put the heavy cream in the pan;
- Place the cheeses in the pan;
- You can use your favorite cheeses, these three are our favorites for Mac n’ Cheese;
- Whisk the heavy cream and cheeses together until you have a sauce;
- Put in the cayenne, garlic powder, and salt and pepper and whisk them together;
- Put the pasta back into the pan with the cheese sauce;
- Mix the pasta and sauce together until the sauce has fully covered the pasta;
- Cook the bacon until it is almost done but not quite complete;
- You want the bacon to be malleable so you can shape it around the cupcake pan;
- Preheat the oven to 350°;
- Spray the cupcake pan with non-stick spray;
- Rip the bacon into 3 pieces and place 2 pieces at the bottom of the cupcake pan;
- Use a whole slice to make a circle around the cupcake pan;
- Spoon in Mac n’ Cheese to fill the cups;
- Place 4 teaspoon of breadcrumbs on top of the cups;
- Bake at 350 for 15 degrees;
- Once done, let them cool for about 5 minutes before using a spoon to scoop them out of the pan;
Serve and enjoy!