So this story is actually a little funny.
Our neighborhood was planning the semi-annual block party, and I waited until the last minute to decide I’d go. I knew I wanted an excuse to go all out with a little potluck dish.
I’ve been seeing all of the trending ‘muffin-tin’ recipes going around. Food Network Magazine even had the 50 best muffin tin recipes in one of their recent mags.
I have a few muffin tins, but hardly ever use them for anything … except muffins (and even those are a rare occurrence around here.)
I wanted to make something everyone would love though… and something easy to eat.
So I decided to make a giant batch of the best mac and cheese. And then scoop it out into some filo dough, add more cheese and a crunchy topping, then BAKE it. And then ADD BACON.
And then scoop it out into some filo dough and BAKE it.
My favorite mac and cheese is always baked. I think it’s because that’s the way my grandmother makes it, and it’s one of my original ‘favorite foods’.
So I scooped a spoonful of the mac and cheese into the squares of the filo dough and then added a nice panko-Parmesan topping and some cooked, crumbled bacon and called it a day. These would be a hit, right?!?
Well, I made a tester batch the night before the party, photo’d them for the blog, and ate a few, and died of happiness.
Yes, I had a HUGE pot of the rest of the mac and cheese in the fridge for spooning out and cooking the next day. Then, Rocky and I decided to go to a movie… since he sleeps a little late (it’s the summer afterall). We got home and I literally had like 40 minutes until the party. These bites weren’t gonna happen. And I was pretty sad about it. I thought that I planned well by cooking the pasta the night before, but I just couldn’t make myself make these things and be rushed, etc.
So really, I was the only one who got to experience the joy of these amazing bites… maybe next time I’ll plan better. Maybe not. But these will be made AGAIN, and will be enjoyed by more than just ME! :)
I ended up making some super-quick, super-easy cookies from a puff pastry, and I’ll share that recipe soon, but for now… maybe you’ll have better planning and make these for a fun little potluck! (…or just for yourself, I won’t judge!)
- Cook macaroni in salted boiling water according to package directions until al dente (about 6-7 minutes). (I cooked the bacon while the pasta was cooking.) Drain and return to pot.
- Meanwhile, for the sauce, heat walnut oil over medium-high heat in a medium or large saucepan. Add shallot and cook 1-2 minutes. When shallot starts to become fragrant and translucent, add the flour and stir 1 minute.
- Slowly add milk, a little at a time, while whisking together. Mixture should become thick before adding more until it's all added. Keep whisking. It's done when it would coat the back of a spoon. Add spices (paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes), and add about ⅓ of the cheese. Stir it in until melted, then add the next ⅓. And finally, add the last bit of the cheese and Pour sauce over macaroni and combine. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Crack egg in a small bowl and whisk together, then add to macaroni mixture.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll out phyllo dough and pull out two at a time. Cut with a pizza cutter once down the center longways, and horizontally into thirds (so there are six equal pieces).
- Spray 2 muffin pans with non-stick spray, and lay two squares into each hole. (This recipe makes FOUR 12 count muffin tins full). Spoon in a scoop (about 2 tablespoons) of macaroni and cheese into each square of filo.
- Mix together topping ingredients in a medium bowl (melted butter, Parmesan, and panko). Top each mac and cheese bite with the Parmesan mixture.
- Place in preheated oven and cook for about 12-14 minutes, until edges of filo are brown and crisp.
- Broil on low a few minutes if you want the topping more browned.
- Remove from oven and top with crumbled bacon and scallions or chives.
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