A quick and easy stovetop mac and cheese with bacon, rosemary, and white cheddar.
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Shred your own cheddar cheese if possible – store-bought shredded cheese often has preservatives that prevent the cheese from melting smoothly.
If you think there is too much or too little bacon fat left in the pot after cooking the bacon, you can spoon some of it out or add a little bit of butter until it looks right. I generally find that 4 strips of bacon release just the right amount of fat for forming the roux here, and it’s a very forgiving sauce if you have a little more or a little less.
If you omit the bacon, use 3 Tbsp. butter in place of the bacon fat to make the roux.
Use more or less fresh rosemary depending on the size of your sprigs and your personal preferences.
Use 1/2 – 1 tsp. dried rosemary in place of fresh if you like.
Substitute 1 cup of chicken stock for 1 cup of the milk to lighten this recipe up a little.
Add grilled chicken, salmon, or other proteins or veggies to make this a little heartier.
For plain bacon mac and cheese, you can omit the garlic and rosemary.
Mix up the cheeses here if you like – this recipe is also great when you swap out some of the white cheddar for gruyere, goat cheese, parmesan, cream cheese, fontina, or havarti.