August 7, 2013

Potato Skins Mac and Cheese

We had an abundance of whole milk that was about to sour in the fridge, so I flipped through my bookmarks to see what recipes called for an abundance of milk. This was the winner from A Spicy Perspective.

And a winner it was. My husband claims not to like macaroni and cheese, yet he likes noodles and likes cheese. I think it's the whole processed orange glowing cheese that he does not like in concept. I presented this as a potato/cheese/noodle casserole thing, and he was fine with it. He asked if it had any poisonous ingredients, and I said no. (Sour cream and cream cheese are not poison in recipes ... that's my defense if he reads this.) He deemed it worthy as a repeat recipe.

Potato Skins Mac and Cheese
3 lbs. baby golden potatoes (I used regular potatoes and baked them longer.)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 lb. noodles
3 Tb. butter
1 Tb. flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1 lb. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
10 oz. cream cheese, divided
12 oz. bacon, fried and crumbled, divided
1 cup chopped green onions, divided
Cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, and drizzle with oil. Salt and pepper liberally, and shake the pan a little to coat them with oil. Roast for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Then set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a large pot of salted water, according to package instructions. Drain, and set aside in a colander.

Using the same pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour, and cook the roux (butter-flour mixture) for 1 minute. Then whisk in the milk, and add the sour cream and 8 oz. cream cheese. Bring to a simmer, and whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth.

Add 3/4 of the shredded cheddar, and whisk until smooth. Then add a dash or two of cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the cooked macaroni, 2/3 cup crumbled bacon and 2/3 cup green onions into the cheese sauce. Stir to coat. Pour the macaroni into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop of most of the flesh, leaving just a little potato attached to the skin. Reserve the crumbled potato flesh. Place a scant 1/2 tsp. dollop of cream cheese in each potato skin.

Sprinkle the crumbled potato over the mac and cheese. Then arrange the potato skins over the top. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar, bacon and onions over the potato skins, and add pepper to taste.
Bake for 20 minutes until the tops are golden. Serve warm.

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