A decadent combination of America's favorite foods: bacon and mac and cheese. I dare you not to like these!
30 slices of bacon (I use thick sliced bacon)
1 pound penne pasta or other small tube-shaped pasta
1 pound gruyere cheese, grated
2 cups creme fraiche
2 cups cream
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 T whole grain mustard
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the bacon slices out on a couple sheet pans. Bake until half done, about 7 - 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the bacon. Remove bacon from the oven and reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Drain the bacon on paper towels and set aside.
While the bacon is cooking fill a large pot with water and a heaping teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and cook the pasta al dente to package directions. Drain, but do not rinse.
While the pasta is cooking combine, gruyere, creme fraiche, cream, panko, mustard and eggs in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add drained pasta to the cheese mixture and toss to thoroughly coat the pasta. You may find tossing with your hands does the best job.
Bake the Mac and Cheese in muffin cups. Lightly wipe each cup with a piece of bacon to grease the cup so the mac and cheese does not stick. Then ring each muffin cup with one piece of bacon. Fill each muffin-lined cup with the cheese mixture. Sprinkle the top of each cup with a bit of grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, checking after 20 minutes. Mac and cheese cups should be golden brown on top. Let set 5 minutes and remove. Serve warm.
May be prepared in advance either by baking the Mac and Cheese Cups and reheating when ready to serve or by cooking the bacon and preparing the Mac and Cheese filling in advance and then baking the cups right before serving.
Recipe by Something New For Dinner at https://somethingnewfordinner.com/recipe/super-easy-fish-veggie-gratin/