Special equipment: a deep-fry thermometer
For the mac and cheese: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, Cheddar, Jack, onion powder, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until creamy.
Meanwhile, cook the macaroni to al dente in a large pot of salted water. Drain and add to the sauce. Pour into a 2-quart baking dish and top with the mozzarella. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
For the octopus: Fill a large Dutch oven about halfway with oil and slowly heat to 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Meanwhile, clean the octopus by running a knife under the outer skin and removing it; you should only see the white. Cut the octopus into small pieces.
In a bowl, stir together the cornmeal, chili powder, onion powder and salt and pepper. Roll the octopus pieces in the spiced cornmeal until well coated. Deep-fry until golden and crispy, then drain on paper towels.
Divide the mac and cheese among 4 bowls and top with octopus. Sprinkle with bacon and cilantro, and serve.
This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. It has not been tested for home use.
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