Christina's Bakin' Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
- 16 ounces dry elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pint half-and-half
- 8 ounces American cheese slices
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 4 ounces smoked gouda, grated
- 1 cup light sour cream
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 dashes hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound ham, cubed
- 3 slices bacon, reserve drippings
- 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons paprika
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni until just tender, about 8 minutes. Strain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the butter and half-and-half in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reserve 5 American cheese slices; tear the rest into pieces and add to the saucepan, along with the cream cheese, and gouda. Cook, stirring often , until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream. Stir in the eggs slowly. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Stir in the macaroni and ham. Scrape the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and top with the remaining 5 American cheese slices.
Cook the bacon. Remove from pan and reserve the drippings. Add the bread crumbs to the pan with the drippings and stir. Crumble the bacon into the bread crumb mixture. Pour the bread crumb mixture evenly over the macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle the paprika over the macaroni and cheese. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is browned about 10 minutes more. Let cool slightly before serving.