Mac and cheese with smoked bacon and peas

March 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A fun twist on traditional comfort food. Chef Todd Humphries of Martini House in St. Helena shares his recipe for a yummy mac and cheese dish that will add a kick to this family favorite!

Recipe: Mac and Cheese with Hobbs Smoked Bacon and Peas
Serves 6-8

  • 1lb elbow macaroni
  • 4-oz melted unsalted butter
  • 3 cups parmesan cream (can be made a few days ahead; instructions below)
  • 10 -oz grated swiss cheese
  • 10 -oz grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 6-oz smoked bacon cut in small cubes and rendered ahead
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen sweet peas (thaw frozen peas and drain any liquid)
  • salt and fresh ground white pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large pot bring six quarts of water to a boil to cook the pasta .add salt and when the water is boiling add in the pasta .stir occasionally.

3. Cook the pasta for five minutes. Drain in a colander shaking excess water

4. While the pasta is cooking melt the butter and pour half into the baking dish to coat the bottom and the sides. The other half mix with the panko bread crumbs and parmesan for the topping.

5. Heat the parmesan cream in a sauce pot. Whisk in the two grated cheeses. Then add the peas and bacon.

6. Pour the cooked pasta into the baking dish and pour the sauce over and mix the sauce with a wooden spoon to coat the noodles evenly.

7. Top the pasta with bread crumbs and bake in the oven for approximately ten to fifteen minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

Parmesan Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 Qt Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • nutmeg to taste
  • salt and pepper

Method:

1. Scald the cream and season with nutmeg salt and pepper.

2. In two equal batches puree 1/2 of the cream with 1/2 of parmesan cheese.

3. Strain thru fine mesh strainer.

4. Season with nutmeg, salt and fresh ground white pepper.

5. Chill and reserve if not using right away. can be made 2 to 3 days ahead.

Equipment needed for this recipe:

  • Blender
  • Small whisk
  • Sauce pan for melting butter and making sauce
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • 2.5 qt Baking dish
  • Large pot for cooking pasta
  • Colander
  • Wooden spoon

About Martini House:
Martini House is the preeminent restaurant in the town of St. Helena, located in the heart of California's Napa Valley and presenting wine country cuisine rooted in the freshest locally-sourced produce, farm-raised meats and wild game. .

The ambience of this Pat Kuleto-designed restaurant reflects the storied history of the Napa Valley, from the Native Americans that lived there to the life of the land's previous owner, retired opera singer Walter Martini, who built the property as his home and later ran a lucrative Prohibition-era wine and whiskey bootlegging business from the basement. Martini House's cozy and intimate setting epitomizes a friendly neighborhood restaurant, inviting locals and visitors to enjoy a quintessential Wine Country experience. Martini House is also an ideal venue for special events and offers a variety of seating options for up to 100 people in the dining room, on the outside patio, or in the Garden Courtyard.

Martini House serves lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m. every day. The Wine Cellar Bar is open from 4:30 p.m. to midnight daily.

For more information, call (707) 963-2233, ext. 1 or visit www.martinihouse.com.


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