Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mac and Cheese with Scallops and Bacon

By Paul Briand

In last week's post, I wrote of how great it was to eat a variety of great seafood at a local seafood festival my wife and I attended. In particular, I had the chance to munch scallops and bacon on a stick.

I confess to a passionate love for scallops and bacon. It is my favorite appetizer. Any cocktail party that serves scallops and bacon is a hit in my book. I'm the guy with the toothpick chasing after the server with the scallops and bacon tray, knocking aside whoever and whatever is necessary to get to them.

In that vein, I was moved last week to cook my own scallops and bacon but with a twist -- combined with homemade macaroni and cheese.

1 pound sea scallops -- numbers about 12
1 pound package of thick cut bacon
2 cups elbow macaroni
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Italian fontina cheese
1/4 cup minced onions
Dash Tabasco sauce
Pepper to taste
Splash of white wine
1/2 cup bread crumbs

1) Start by cooking the bacon in a large skillet, set aside on paper towels to drain (break into pieces once cool enough);
2) Retain some of the bacon fat and in the same skillet sear the scallops, browning on all sides;
3) Add a dash of white wine to deglaze the pan, set scallops aside and cut in half;
4) Cook elbow macaroni in 4-5 quart pot of boiling water about 6-8 minutes or until just tender (macaroni will cook more when it's baked);
5) While the macaroni cooks, prepare the cheese sauce in saucepan by first heating milk but not letting it boil;
6) Melt butter in large saucepan and stir in flour;
7) Gradually stir in heated milk, stirring constantly until sauce thickens;
8) Add onion and cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese melts;
9) Add dash of hot sauce and pepper, stir;
10) Combine cheese sauce with cooked macaroni;
11) Stir fontina cheese into mixture;
11) Combine halved scallops and crumbled bacon into mac and cheese;
12) Spoon entire mixture into large greased baking dish;
13) Top with bread crumbs;
14) Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

This dish feeds 6-8. I like the fontina cheese as an addition because it combines a complimentary taste to the cheddar and has the stringy, cheesy quality of mozzarella.

Digg this

No comments: