Farmers Market 4-Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese with Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Mac 'n Cheese

We are blessed with some great locally produced food, which can be found at various farmers markets around town. For this meal, I challenged myself to create a meal using mostly items purchased at the Fort Wayne’s Farmers Market, and the result? Absolutely addiction worthy. More and more, it is becoming important to me to know where my food comes from. Blame it on Netflix documentaries, but our food supply chain is messed up, to say the least. Corruption, pollution, exploitation… all in the name of profits. It’s sickening, but there’s good news. You can make amazing meals using locally produced and sourced food items. Here’s a good example.

4-Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of white bread, torn into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 5 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup grated habanero cheese from Clearspring Acres
  • 1 cup grated Colby jack cheese from Clearspring Acres
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 package elbow macaroni from Big Brick House Bakery
  • 1 package rotini from Big Brick House Bakery
  • 1 package black pepper bacon from Custom Quality Meats

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Β Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.Β Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper, all 3 cheeses (leaving aside about 1/4 cup). Set cheese sauce aside.

In the meantime, chop bacon and fry until crispy.

Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cookΒ to al dente. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce and add bacon.

Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes from Get Fresh Farms
  • 4 oz mozarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint from Get Fresh Farms
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Slice the mozzarella cheese into cubes. Mix together the tomatoes, mozzarella, mint, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

 

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