Applewood Bacon Macaroni and Cheese Paired with Mirassou Wine
When I received the invitation in my inbox I was so stinkin’ excited. I was the only one in the house and I was yelling – Yes, Yes, Yes!!! I enjoy a glass of wine or two or three but I normally drink what I like best which is the sweeter white wines so I was anxious to be able to taste some new wines and see how they are paired with different foods.
We learned from David Mirassou, 6th generation at Mirassou Winery, how the family business got started so many years ago. His great great great grandparents came over from France on a boat keeping their seedlings alive by using potatoes for moisture. I can only imagine all of the changes that this business has seen in over 150 years.
I should have taken photos of the beautiful and delicious food we had but I was so busy keeping the drool inside my mouth that it didn’t even cross my mind. Kind of like walking and chewing gum at the same time – just not happening with this girl.
Now one would think that after having 5 courses of food and 5 glasses of wine in front of me throughout the night that this girl wouldn’t even be able to walk straight, but I could. I did a little alcohol abuse and didn’t finish every single glass. I did try them all and enjoyed what they were paired with so I’m convinced that I would enjoy almost any kind of wine if served with the properly paired food.
If you are looking for some wine tasting and food pairing ideas, Mirassou has several ideas on their website to include the Applewood Bacon Macaroni and Cheese recipe that I have for you below. We had this paired with the Mirassou Chardonnay and it was oh so good. I can’t wait to taste their Beef Short Ribs and their Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto Spread.
A few other things I learned that evening about wine.
- The four S’s. You should swirl, smell, see, and sip each glass.
- Wine really DOES taste different when paired with foods that compliment it.
- And the number one thing I learned – it’s acceptable to drink wine in plastic cups. Now I’ve done this many times, but to learn that it’s acceptable was just reassurance that this girl can now consider herself classy. Plastic cup and all.
Thank you Mirassou for a wonderful evening.
Applewood Bacon Macaroni and Cheese by Mirassou
Yield: 6 - 8
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
1/2 pound macaroni or small shell pasta
4 ounces thick-cut applewood bacon
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 1/2 cups whole milk
2 shallots, minced
12 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the pasta al dente in boiling salted water as directed on the package. Drain and set the pasta aside.
While the pasta cooks, cut the bacon into ¼-inch pieces, and sauté in a small pan until crisp and golden. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings, and return the pan to low heat. Add the breadcrumbs and thyme to the bacon drippings, and toss to coat evenly. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and set the pan aside.
In a four-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour, nutmeg and dry mustard, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to work the dry ingredients into the butter. Continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
Whisk in the milk in ½-cup increments, making sure to work the mixture smooth each time.
Whisk in the shallots, and simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
Turn off the heat and whisk in ¾ of the grated cheddar.
Season the cheese sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the macaroni and bacon, then pour into a greased 2-quart baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.
Sprinkle over the breadcrumb mixture and bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until the cheese and breadcrumbs are golden.
Serves 6 as an entrée, 8 as a side dish
Pairing Suggestion: Pairs with Mirassou® Monterey County California Chardonnay.
Mirassou Winery Recipe