Indulge in Ina Garten’s Cheesy Delight this Thanksgiving!

Indulge in Ina Garten's Delectable Grown Up Mac and Cheese A Crowd-Pleasing Thanksgiving Side Dish!

I tried Ina Garten’s ‘grown up’ mac and cheese—an easy and loved Thanksgiving side dish.

Ina Garten’s mac and cheese

The holidays are approaching faster than a fashionista running towards a designer sale. And what better way to celebrate than by indulging in one of the most revered comfort foods – mac and cheese! But this is not just any mac and cheese, oh no! This is Ina Garten’s “grown up” mac and cheese, a recipe that will make your taste buds scream with joy and your stomach do a happy dance.

Let me paint you a picture. Picture velvety noodles coated in a heavenly blend of Gruyere, extra-sharp cheddar, and blue cheese. The ooey-gooey goodness is accentuated by the smoky whispers of crispy bacon, while a dash of freshly-chopped basil and a pinch of nutmeg take it to a whole new level. Are you drooling yet?

Now, before I reveal the secrets of this cheesy divinity, let’s take a moment to appreciate the dedication and expertise that goes into making this masterpiece. From grating mountains of cheese to chopping basil with surgical precision, Ina Garten has crafted a recipe that will make you fall head over heels in love with mac and cheese all over again.

The Ingredients That Make Magic Happen

Ingredients for Ina Garten’s mac and cheese

To create this cheesy symphony for four lucky souls, you will need:

  • 4 cups of elbow macaroni or cavatappi (the pasta that knows how to carry flavor like a supermodel strutting down the catwalk)
  • 4 slices of white sandwich bread (crust-less and ready to give your mac and cheese a stylish makeover)
  • 8 ounces of grated Gruyere cheese (the king of cheeses, fit for royalty)
  • 6 ounces of grated extra-sharp cheddar (the cheese that adds a sharp and sassy kick)
  • 4 ounces of crumbled blue cheese (Garten recommends Roquefort, the blue cheese that will make you weak in the knees)
  • 8 ounces of irresistible, thick-cut bacon
  • 3 cups of milk (to create a creamy enchantment)
  • 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour (the magic dust that thickens the dreaminess)
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter (the smooth operator that brings everything together)
  • 4 tablespoons of freshly-chopped basil leaves (the touch of freshness that elevates the dish)
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly-ground black pepper
  • A pinch of nutmeg (because a little bit of spice is always nice)

The Culinary Adventure Begins

Now that we have gathered our ingredients and prepared for the mac and cheesy adventure, it’s time to dive in!

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Fashionably prepping the stage for the cheesy symphony.

Step 2: The bacon takes center stage. Place the bacon on a sheet pan, making sure they’re in a single layer. If you’re feeling fancy, add a baking rack for a touch of elegance. Alternatively, line the pan with foil to avoid greasy fashion mishaps. Bake the bacon until it turns crisp, like a supermodel strutting on the runway.

Step 3: While the bacon sizzles, it’s time to prepare the supporting cast. Slice the crusts off the sandwich bread and cut the slices into smaller pieces. Chop the basil like a seasoned stylist creating a masterpiece.

Step 4: Boil a large pot of salted water and add the pasta. Let it cook until al dente, like a perfectly tailored dress that hugs your curves in all the right places. Drain and set aside.

Step 5: Grate the cheese like you’re creating a work of art. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to recruit family members as your sous chefs. Because who needs a budget when there’s cheese to be grated?

Step 6: Transform the bread and basil into the chicest breadcrumbs ever created. Throw them into a food processor and let it work its magic. After a few pulses, voila! You have a masterpiece in the making.

Step 7: When the bacon is cool enough, give it a rough chop. We’re talking chunky, smoky goodness that will take your mac and cheese to new heights.

Step 8: Warm up some milk for the roux, making sure not to boil it. Heat it like a fashionista who knows not to overdo the trend.

Step 9: Melt the butter in a pot over medium-low heat, treating it with the tenderness of a designer handbag.

Step 10: Add the flour to the pot with the melting butter, whisking them together with the grace of a ballet dancer. Let them become best friends for about two minutes, creating a beautiful roux.

Step 11: As you whisk, add the hot milk like a touch of elegance. Cook the sauce for a few more minutes until it thickens and looks as smooth as pure silk.

Step 12: Take the pot off the heat and add all your cheeses, along with the seasoning. Don’t hold back on that cheese, let it flow like a couture gown on the red carpet.

Step 13: Add the cooked pasta and bacon to the pot, stirring it all together in a glorious symphony. The cheesy aroma filling your kitchen is pure magic.

Step 14: Pour your creation into a casserole dish, like a runway model strutting her stuff. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top, creating a golden crown for your cheesy masterpiece.

Step 15: Into the oven it goes! Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, but remember, all ovens are unique. Keep an eye on the breadcrumbs and take the dish out when they are beautifully golden – a picture-perfect moment.

Ina Garten’s mac and cheese My mac and cheese was still bubbling as I began to serve it.

The Moment of Truth

And now, my fellow fashionistas, we have reached the moment of truth. The mac and cheesy paradise is ready to be devoured.

As I served dinner to my family, the anticipation in the air was palpable. The sound of bubbling sauce filled the room, like music to our taste buds’ ears. With each spoonful of velvety noodles and crispy breadcrumbs, we experienced a culinary nirvana. The blend of Gruyere, cheddar, and blue cheeses created a harmony of flavors that danced on our tongues. The smoky bacon cut through the creaminess like a fashionista cutting through a crowded room, leaving its mark.

But let’s not forget the unsung hero, those glorious breadcrumbs. Every bite was a textural delight, a contrast to the luscious noodles below. Trust me when I say, don’t skimp on those breadcrumbs. Your taste buds will thank you.

We enjoyed Ina Garten’s “grown up” mac and cheese as a main course, savoring each mouthwatering bite. However, it would also make a stunning Thanksgiving side dish, a perfect partner for your roasted turkey. Note: If you’re not a blue cheese enthusiast, you can reduce the amount or omit it entirely. Your mac and cheese will still have the depth it deserves.

So, my dear fashionistas and food lovers, if you’re searching for a traditional dish with a fashionable twist this Thanksgiving, Ina Garten’s “grown up” mac and cheese is the answer. Allow yourself to bask in the glory of cheesy goodness. Indulge in a forkful of velvety noodles and let the flavors dance on your palate. This is not just mac and cheese; this is a culinary love affair.

Have you ventured into the realm of Ina Garten’s mac and cheese yet? Did you make any modifications or additions to suit your taste? I’d love to hear about your cheesy adventures! Share your thoughts, stories, and recipe recommendations in the comments below! And remember, always embrace the luxurious and delicious journey of food and fashion!