i ripped this recipe out of rachael ray’s magazine thinking it looked good and was different from what i usually make — we’re not big soup eaters so this was a good compromise… it actually turned out really good! next time i’ll probably mix the bacon right in instead of just sprinkling it on top.. and some lump crab meat might be good in there!
Corn Chowdah Mac ’n’ Cheese
adapted from rachael ray magazine
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 lb. mezzi rigatoni, penne rigate or cavatappi pasta
- 4 ears corn, husked
- EVOO, for drizzling
- 1/4 lb. bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 baking potato, peeled and diced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning (half a palmful)
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 red chile pepper, such as fresno, seeded and chopped (left out)
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- A few sprigs thyme, chopped (used dried)
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 cups whole milk (used 2%)
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- About 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Few grates fresh nutmeg (left out)
- 1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook to al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
While the pasta is working, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the broiler. Place a small bowl upside down in a large bowl. Stand each ear of corn on the small bowl and scrape down the kernels.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of EVOO and the bacon and cook until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate.
- Add the corn, potato and Old Bay to the bacon drippings in the skillet and brown for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, chile pepper, bell pepper, onion and garlic; season with the thyme, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, then the milk; season with the mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce coats a spoon thickly; lower the heat to low. Stir in the parmigiano-reggiano.
- Add the corn-potato mixture and the white sauce to the pasta in the pot and stir together. Transfer to a casserole or serving dish, top with the cheddar and bacon and broil until brown and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.