Last night I made this for Steven for the first time.
I must admit that I really like it a lot. I love the combination taste of the sweet pear the smoke Gouda cheese. Definitely will do this again. But next time I am going to reduce the pear in half portion and and cut into a smaller piece. Just to reduce the sweetness of this recipe.
BACON-PEAR MACARONI AND CHEESE
~ 8 ounces dried elbow macaroni
~ 6 slices bacon
~ 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
~ 2 cloves garlic, minced
~ 2 tbsp all purpose flour
~ 1 tsp dry mustard
~ 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
~ 2-1/2 cups whole milk (I used2% milk)
~ 6 ounces smoked Gouda Cheese, rind removed, shredded
~ 8 ounce package cream cheese (I used reduced fat cream cheese and used only 1/2 package)
~ 2 tbsp snipped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
~ 2 tbsp butter or margarine
~ 2 tbsp packed brown sugar (I reduced half)
~ 2 red or green pears, thinly slices
~ 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cook past according to package directions, drain. Return pasta to hot pan, cover to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crips, turning once. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving 3 tablespoons bacon drippings in skillet. Crumble and set a side.
3. Cook onion and garlic in bacon drippings over medium heat for 30 seconds. Stir in flour, dry mustard and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; reduced heat. Add Gouda cheese and cream cheese; cook and stir until almost melted.
4. Pour cheese sauce over the cooked pasta. Stir in oregano and all but 2 tablespoons of the crumbled bacon. Transfer mixture to an ungreased 2-quart rectangular baking dish; cover with foil Bake in a 350 deg. oven for 25 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, melt butter in a clean large skillet. Stir in brown sugar; add pear slices. Cook, turning occasionally, until pears are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove foil from the baking dish. Stir about the half of the cooked, sliced pears into the macaroni and cheese. Spoon the remaining pear slices a top macaroni and cheese; sprinkle with Parmesan and reserved crumbled bacon. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes or until Parmesan has softened. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Note; I will reduce the pears in half(1 pear instead of 2) and cut into a small pieces about the same size of the macaroni.
Then when it comes to direction no. 4, I will mix half of cooked pears into the macaroni mixture and transfer to a baking dish and arrange the half of cooked pears on top and with crumbled bacon and Parmesan, then cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
Last night I also put left overs rotisserie chicken cut into small pieces into the macaroni mixture. It tastes delicious too! I am wondering if this would taste wonderful with blue cheese because I know pears goes together with blue cheese.
Happy Baking Everyone!