Taste of the South's Favorite February/March recipes

stove-top green-chile-and-bacon macaroni and cheese
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

6 slices bacon
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, such as Rotel, drained
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 pound piccolini pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained

1. In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from pan, and reserve. Drain bacon fat from pan, reserving 3 tablespoons.
2. Return Dutch oven to medium heat. Add reserved bacon fat and flour, whisking well to combine. Cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add milk to flour mixture, whisking well to combine. Cook, whisking often, until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add salt and white pepper to milk mixture, whisking well. Add cheeses to milk mixture, stirring well. Add tomatoes with green chiles, green chiles, and cooked pasta to cheese mixture, stirring to combine. Cook until heated through.
3. Chop reserved bacon. Sprinkle over pasta mixture, stirring well to combine. Serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from Taste of the South and Hoffman Media.

GDA Cooking - February 4, 2011