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Food and Drink

Bacon mac and cheese gets a Korean twist

  • Author: Kim Sunée
  • Updated: November 4, 2017
  • Published November 2, 2017

Bacon-kimchi mac and cheese (Photo by Leela Cyd)

Kim Sunée will be signing copies of her new cookbook "Everyday Korean" Monday, Nov. 7, at Bear Tooth Grill from 4:30-6:30 pm. Korean-inspired specials will run at Bear Tooth for the month of November and books will be available for sale at the Grill.

Bacon, kimchi and cheese might at first seem like an unlikely trio, but they all come together beautifully in this Korean twist on an American classic.

The trick is to first squeeze as much liquid out of the kimchi as possible — save the juice to add back in later — then sauté the kimchi in butter to soften the funk. Bacon adds a nice savory note and the cheese just brings it all together. Even kimchi-shy eaters are often pleasantly surprised at how addictive this can be.

Bacon-kimchi mac and cheese

Recipe from the newly released cookbook: "Everyday Korean."

Makes 4 to 6 servings

4 to 6 slices bacon, diced

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

14 ounces kimchi (store-bought is fine), drained (save the liquid) and chopped

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 to 3 cups whole or semi-skim milk

1 pound cooked short pasta, such as elbow macaroni, fusilli or penne rigate

Freshly ground black pepper

Dash of hot sauce

8 ounces grated Comté or cheddar, or a combination of both

Garnish: thinly sliced green onion

Cook the bacon over medium-high heat in a large skillet for about 7 minutes, until the bacon is cooked through and starting to crisp. If there's more than 3 tablespoons of rendered fat, omit adding the butter. Otherwise, add the butter.

Add the chopped kimchi and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the kimchi, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add 2 cups of the milk and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the cooked pasta, pepper, reserved kimchi liquid and hot sauce, if using. Add a little more milk if too thick. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheeses. If the mixture is thick, add a little bit more milk. Taste and adjust seasoning as you add more milk. Garnish with green onion and serve at once.

Bestselling author and food columnist Kim Sunée will be signing copies of her new cookbook "Everyday Korean" Monday, Nov. 7, at Bear Tooth Grill from 4:30-6:30 pm. Korean-inspired specials will run at Bear Tooth for the month of November and books will be available for sale at the Grill.

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