Leftovers don’t bother me… I always look at it like this: “Well, dinner is half-way made, I just need to figure out the rest.”
What DOES make Mama a little high strung is having just a little bit left of something. Too little to feed everyone, too much to throw away.
So… 2 cups of leftover cooked elbow macaroni became a terrific after school snack in the guise of these cute Bacon Crusted Mac and Cheese Cups.
It helps that I always have cheese in the fridge and that I had leftover panko (Japanese breadcrumbs from a recipe I made last week. You can use regular breadcrumbs, too.
No, leftovers don’t bother me… it’s just that with the crowd at my table, we rarely have them!
Bacon Crusted Mac and Cheese Cups
prep: 15 minutes
cook: 10 to 15 minutes
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3 strips cooked bacon, chopped or crumbled
let’s get to it…
Move oven rack to the center of oven. Spray 6 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Heat oven to 425°F.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small skillet. Add panko and stir over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes or just until panko begins to brown. Remove from heat and stir in chopped bacon; set aside.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over moderate heat; whisk in the flour and salt and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly until thickened. Add the cheese and continue to whisk until melted. Remove from heat. Add beaten egg to sauce and whisk until blended; stir in cooked macaroni.
Spoon Mac and Cheese evenly into muffin cups. Top each with a little panko-bacon mixture.
Bake for 10 minutes or until panko is golden brown. Cool 5 to 7 minutes or until set. Carefully lift out with a spatula and serve.