Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Marathon Mac and Bacon and Hot Dog and Cheese Crock Pot Glory

I was asked to make an entree for the marathon pot luck at church after the late service. As the service was at 4 and the pot luck was at 5, I was a little worried about making something that needed to be hot, and then letting it sit for a while. Turns out, the kitchen was expecting this, and had warming ovens available, but I did not know this. So I decided to make something in a crock pot. My experience with a crock pot has all been in soups/chilis and Corned Beef and cabbage both of these options did not seem like a good choice for a late in the afternoon summer time meal...

So I decided to do some Mac and Cheese! I did some looking around on line and came across this to start with, and then modified it. A lot. I completely filled Larry's Crock pot with this, he has a medium sized pot, I think it is bigger than mine back home, but smaller than Mother's gigantic one. It is very easy to half the recipe to fit in a smaller one. This recipe as it stands makes a lot. Approximately, making 12 servings.

Marathon Mac and Cheese
16 oz (1 pound) of uncooked Pasta (Elbows, Ditalini, Spirals, Shells... small, bit sized pieces)
4 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar
4 cups Shredded Mild Cheddar
2 eggs
2 cans (24 oz) Evaporated Milk
3 cups Milk
2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
2 teaspoons Ground Mustard
3/4 cup Bread Crumbs
1 pound of Bacon
1 Large Onion
8 Hot Dogs (really any type of sausage)
5-7 Mushrooms

Things to try out: Olives, Peppers, Different types of Cheese (Velveeta!), Lizano, Spinach...

First, prepare the additives. Fry the bacon, pat dry, crumble and set aside. Cut up onion in to medium sized slices, saute in pan with oil or butter (I used grease from bacon, it was great! I also added some garlic powder), set aside. Wash and cut up mushrooms, set aside. If necessary, cook hot dogs or sausage, cut in to very small slices (prevent small children from choking...), set aside. I did all of this the night before the pot luck, and put it all in individual containers in the fridge.

Due to the amount and size of ingredients, it my behoove you to mix half of it at a time. Half the entire recipe, and combine in two stages. 

In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs, Evaporated Milk, and milk. Add Salt, pepper, and mustard, mix well. Add 3/4 of the cheese and bread crumbs, mix well. Add pasta uncooked, mix well. Add bacon, sauteed onion, mushrooms, and hot dog pieces, mix well. Liberally cover the sides of the crock pot with cooking spray. Pour mixture in to pot.

When it is all in, add the remaining cheese to the top of the pile.

When researching this, there was a lot of debate as to how to cook this. I used uncooked pasta, and cooked it on low for 3 ish hours (I say 3 ish because there was moving it from my house, to Jeff's house, then to the church. That was over the course of 4 hours, but there was 30 minutes of driving time where the pot was unplugged). When I took it to the church (so at the 2 hour mark) all of the cheese on top was melted, and it smelled glorious. There were a lot of comments about if you let it cook for too long, the pasta gets mushy. Needless to say, I am sticking to the 3 - 4 hour mark on low.

It turned out great. Everyone loved it. Mr. and Mrs. Rohrer were able to pick it out of the pot luck crowd as mine, apparently the hot dogs gave it away. I highly recommend this, it was easy and great. It was very easy to make enough for a large number of people. Depending on what you put in it, it can be a side or a main dish. Future iteration will use different cheeses, and things added. Hmmm... I think this needs to get paired with a pot of chili!     

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you love to cook and experiment with recipes!!!! And I love reading about your new creations. Nice job! I am sure everyone loved it. You should get them to do a church cook book while you are still there so you can contribute some of your 'burgh specialties.