Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Buttermilk Ranch Mac & Cheese

Print
Let's face it - mac & cheese is truly a comfort food to the American palate. There are as many variations to this dish as there are families I'm sure. In fact, I highlighted 12 Mac & Cheese recipes not too long ago. But this Buttermilk Ranch Mac & Cheese recipe is definitely different from the rest. This specific recipe calls for the use of buttermilk which typically isn't the norm. To highlight the tang of this, I incorporated some ranch flavor and some bacon!...

Buttermilk ranch dressing is what inspired me to adapt the original recipe found on another blog. I used a dry ranch dressing mix to add some ranch flavor into the buttermilk cheese sauce. And what would a buttermilk ranch dish be without bacon? With that said, crumbled bacon is stirred in with the pasta to add a bit of texture and flavor. Overall, this was one of my favorite mac & cheese recipes... and who knew buttermilk would work just as well?!


Buttermilk Ranch Mac & Cheese
recipe adapted from Six Course Dinner


8 oz. elbow macaroni
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz. buttermilk
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp panko or regular bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large pot, bring three quarts of water to a boil. Add salt to season. Cook macaroni until al dente. Remove from heat, drain, briefly rinse under cold water, and drain again.

While the macaroni is cooking, heat the butter in a pan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour until well combined. Reduce heat and gently cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture just begins to darken. Mix in 6 oz. of the shredded cheese, the buttermilk, and the dry ranch dressing mix. Stir until the cheese is mostly melted and then turn off the heat. At this point the cheese should be completely melted and the ranch dressing should have flavored the sauce. Stir in the cooked pasta and crumbled bacon. Mix well to combine and season with salt and pepper to your tastes.

Pour into a large casserole dish and top with the remainder of the cheese and the breadcrumbs. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove foil to brown the top. You may want to move the dish closer to your broiler if you want, but watch it closely as the breadcrumbs can very easily burn. Allow to cool for a few minutes before devouring.

3 comments:

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

There is no doubt about that!I don't think I know anyone that doesn't love mac & cheese. I must say yours looks delicious.

Ashlea said...

Whoa, this looks amazing! I have never thought about ranch flavor in mac n cheese, but it sounds like a perfect combo!

Christine said...

This is one of the best things I've ever tasted. I could eat a whole dish.

Subscribe to Feeds
Follow Me on Twitter
Add in Facebook