Mac and cheese became athing in New York restaurants years ago. There are a few spots that only sell mac and cheese, and one in Brooklyn that will remain nameless may be the worst restaurant in the city. Or, if not actually the worst, at least the most hated by those who've been burned by them. You know who you are! Some other spots will charge you $17 for it with a smile. And sure, it may be a rich, truffle oily mess of mac and cheese that’s way better than the boxed stuff, but try making realmac and cheese at home and you’ll never be duped again. Our breakfast mac and cheese has bacon, tater tots, and two types of cheese. From start to finish, it’ll take you 40 minutes to make and probably two minutes to eat, and you won’t need to put on pants.
Baked Breakfast Mac and Cheese
photo by caitlin bensel
½ box cavatappi pasta
½ pound thick cut bacon, chopped
½ cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 16-ounce package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 5-ounce package shredded Swiss cheese
4 large eggs
2 cups frozen tater tots, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, sauté the bacon pieces in your largest skillet for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the bacon pieces from the pan and reserve.
Transfer the bacon fat to a large saucepan. (There should be around 3 tablespoons of fat in the pan—if not, just add butter.) Add the onions and next 3 ingredients. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring frequently. Add the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and smooth. Gradually whisk in milk and cream, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened (when mixture coats the back of a spoon, it’s ready). Remove from heat, and stir in cheese until melted. Stir in pasta, bacon, and ½ of the tater tots. Pour into a large cast iron skillet.
Using a spoon, make 4 indentations in the pasta and crack an egg into each indentation; top mixture with chopped tater tots. Bake at 400°F until egg is set and cheese is bubbly and golden. Cool 10 to 15 minutes. Top with chives.