Bacon Mac & Cheese in the Ninja Foodi

Bacon Mac & Cheese in the Ninja Foodi


hi there and welcome to the salted
pepper where we cook for real life using real food and we keep it real simple and
today we’re gonna make this delicious creamy bacon onion mac and cheese and
we’re gonna do it all in the ninja foodie so the first thing you want to do
is get your onions and your bacon cooking and to do that there’s a couple
ways you can approach it you can certainly pre-heat your ninja foodi on
broil or air crisp or whatever function you want for five to ten minutes but I
didn’t do that I’m just gonna go straight from cold and it’s gonna be
fine it’s just gonna take a little bit longer for the bacon to cook but no
problems at all so I have the rack in so I’m gonna pull that out then I have half
of an onion that I have sliced in about quarter inch to half inch slices you
don’t have to worry about what size they are just make them uniform so they all
cook evenly we’re gonna put that on the bottom of the inner pot and then put our
rack back on just make sure that it’s kind of nestled down in there so that it
sits evenly now I have four pieces of applewood smoked
thick cut bacon that we’re going to air crest in the ninja foody if you haven’t
done bacon in the ninja foodie yet it is fantastic and super easy to do so I have
them cut in half just so they fit on the rack a little bit better and I’m gonna
go ahead and arrange them on the rack and just try to get them in the best way
you can we’re gonna be crumbling them up for this recipe so they don’t even
really need to lay flat I know some people drape them over the rack so that
they’re pointing down so like this you can get fit a lot of bacon on there this
way however I don’t find that it cooks evenly enough for my liking so I don’t
do it that way I lay it out now you want to try to make sure they’re not
overlapping I mean a few are gonna kind of overlap a little bit but then as they
start to cook and shrink I’m gonna move them around and try to get them so that
they’re all cooking without touching each other you could use all the real
estate you need here so I’m gonna go over over there a little bit
and probably over here a little bit all right that should be good now we’re
gonna close the lid and do the air crisp air crisp function and we’re gonna take
the temperature down to 360 the time is gonna be about 14 minutes now this
varies depending on the cut of bacon so with thick cut thin cut obviously thin
cut would take a less time you might actually even want to bump the heat down
a little bit more for the thin cut bacon and also I found that just various
different brands of bacon cook differently so I would say it’s going to
be between 14 and 17 or 18 minutes total we will flip between seven and eight
minutes so after about seven minutes I’ll check it and probably flip them
then and then we’ll just let them keep going for the remainder of the time
until they become really crispy and all that fat has rendered out now everybody
likes their bacon different but I encourage you to do it crispy for this
recipe because it will soften some when we mix it in with our mac and cheese all
right now one other thing I did want to share with you is you know I always test
my recipes several times before they go out to you because I like to iron out
all the kinks and make sure they’re gonna work perfectly the first time and
one thing that you might think about doing which I thought about doing and I
thought it would be brilliant is to just cut up the bacon into little bite-sized
pieces and sauteing in the bottom with the onions because you know that would
give so much flavor and produce those little brown bits that are so lovely and
it did it worked really great however the end product the end macaroni and
cheese had this odd brown color to it from all of the bacon bits that got in
there and and it just wasn’t that appealing
it was delicious though so if you’re making it at home and you want to do it
that way and you’re not gonna be put off by the weird color go ahead but for this
recipe I decided to do the bacon on the rack
so once the bacon cooks for seven minutes I will flip it and then we will
go the remainder of the seven or eight minutes however long it takes and then
we’ll get our bacon out and we’ll finish up our mecha cheese alright so it’s been
just about eight minutes or so seven and a half minutes so let’s give a peak here
and I can see it’s starting to brown and it hasn’t really rendered out a lot of
the fat but don’t worry that will happen that will happen during the next seven
minutes now the ones the bacon pieces that are
on the outside always tend to get done a little bit quicker or a little bit you
know more Brown than the inside pieces so you might check in another minute or
two and move them around but for right now I’m just gonna leave them the way
that they are and just flip them now I’m not sure if flipping is even necessary
my husband and I say we’re gonna try the next time we make bacon to not even
worry about flipping it because you are getting airflow around and to the
underside of the bacon so whether or not we need to flip it is I don’t know up in
the air but I’m a flipper I always flip my bacon I probably am a little
excessive about it so you don’t have to flip if you don’t want to just make sure
that the end result is nice and crunchy alright so the last like 10 seconds or
so is counting down so we’ve gone a total of 14 minutes and I flipped at
about seven and a half minutes or so and now once it goes through the cooldown
cycle which just takes about a second we will open it up and see what our bacon
looks like and then make some determinations of whether or not we need
to put on the ninja booty for another couple minutes or not oh it looks so
pretty alright so it looks really good now what I can see is just what I said
earlier is that the outside pieces have gotten a little bit more done than the
ones that are in the middle so I’m just going to flip them and move them towards
the outside a little bit and move these guys to the inside and I am not sure why
this happens I’m thinking it’s the way the fan is designed to push the air out
so that it goes under nice and bounces back up that’s my
thought but I’m not an engineer so I don’t absolutely know but it does seem
to happen all the time all right I think that looks pretty good all right so
let’s go down another three minutes or so and then when it’s done I’ll go
between three and five minutes on 360 and then when it’s done I will take it
out and get them on the paper towels because it’s important when you make
bacon and you want it to be crispy you want to drain off that grease that’s on
the bacon and that will allow it to really crisp up as it cools all right so
I went another four minutes and actually I think that was about 30 seconds too
long some of my outside pieces got just a little bit too done but it will be
fine they’re not really that burnt or anything just a little crispy like
darker edges on the outside but the rest of them look beautiful so I’m just gonna
lay them that’s another little outside piece but I actually kind of like the
flavor of that so it won’t bother me but I should have should have kept a better
eye when your air crisping just lift up that lid and check it out frequently so
that you don’t burn up your bacon all right now I’m just gonna put this paper
towel over top here and try to get this one little piece this one little this
one little guy is like way over in the corner here so I think I might have to
take my look there it goes take my rack out and grab him out all right now the
onions so the onions have like softened and caramelized especially the ones that
are on the outside so if you like them really dark like this one is when you
put them in make sure you’ve moved them all to the outside and that will help
but I like the combination of the two I think that produces the best flavor in
the mac and cheese so the next thing we want to do is go ahead and hit the sear
saute and hit the start button hi is fine for this it’s only gonna be on for
a few minutes but what we want to do is delay
the bottom of the pot because any of these parts that are brown here could
trigger the water notice because the ninja foodie pot will will think that
something’s burning on the bottom even though we have plenty of water or in
this case we’re using chicken stock but you could use water as well so we’re
gonna let this heat up just a little bit and then I’m gonna de close the bottom
with one cup of chicken stock and we’re gonna use a total of three cups because
you want the noodles to be just covered with the broth so that they cook evenly
and but I’m gonna deglaze with just the one cup it makes it just a little bit
easier so let’s let this heat up just a minute and meanwhile I’m gonna use my
scooping spread which I just absolutely love just to sort of get some of these
bits off the bottom this is important to do any time that you saute anything
followed by pressure cooking you don’t want those bits to be on the bottom
because they will trigger that water notice most of the time anything and the
bacon grease stays right in there that’s gonna add a ton of flavor and add like
even more bacon flavor to our mac and cheese all right so let’s go ahead and
dump in the 1 cup now if it was a little hotter you would see it start to bubble
right away it wasn’t that hot but it’s okay
this stuff isn’t really that stuck on so it’s gonna be fine I’m just gonna go
around and get the rest off that looks good
ok so let’s talk about noodle choices what I decided to use is something a
little bit different it’s not traditional but it’s called selling
Thani noodles and I hope I’m saying that correctly and they’re from Barilla and I
really like the shape of them so they’re like little cork screws and they’ve got
some ridges and the reason why I chose these is because the ridges are gonna
help to hold that sauce and just give a ton of flavor
but you could use elbow macaroni as well if you wanted to be really traditional I
would decrease your time to about 4 minutes
we’re gonna or maybe six minutes we’re gonna do eight minutes of high pressure
cooking followed by a two minute natural release I found that this that was
perfect for these noodles penne might take a few minutes shorter time so six
minutes with maybe a two minute or three minute natural release so that’s
completely up to you but for this I’m gonna use the cell and Thani noodles
which they’re so cute all right so let’s go ahead and get those in and the other
two cups of our chicken broth and again you could use water for that that’s no
problem I just like the added flavor I just think it really boosts the flavor
of the entire dish if you don’t use chicken stock and you use water you may
want to add in just a little bit of salt but remember the cheese has a lot of
salt so don’t go overboard with that okay great
so one thing I wanted to mention that there’s a couple ways you could do this
you could take the onions out as well which I have done before and then add
them back in at the end but I’m not a fan of like pulling out a stringy onion
so I wanted to pressure cook them they’re gonna soften up probably even
dissolve mostly but then we’re gonna get really incredible flavor into this broth
and I think it’s gonna be absolutely delicious the other thing is if you
wanted to make a full pound of pasta because I’m only using eight ounces you
could do that you just couldn’t want to increase your chicken stock to the point
where it just lightly covers the top so you don’t necessarily need to double the
chicken stock in this recipe just put enough in so that there it’s covering
all of the pasta so that it cooks evenly all right so I also turn on the sear
sautee onto high just to keep that broth heating up that’s gonna make it a little
bit quicker when we go under pressure but the next thing we have to do is
create our roux and some of you might have said why did you create your roux
at the bacon grease well because you can’t go under pressure with a roux it
thickens the sauce too much and it tends to burn so I came up with this really
cool trick that works perfectly and I’m super excited to share it with you so
what I have here is a six a six inch by two inch fat daddy-o pan
but you can use any pan that is pressure safe and I’m gonna add in two
tablespoons of melted butter and this is melted but it’s kind of sat here a
little bit but it’s not gonna be any problem that’s fine so I’m just gonna
get that out and we’re gonna put in two tablespoons of flour this is just
all-purpose flour and the basis for any roux is equal combinations of fat and
flour so you could use butter you could use bacon grease you could use oil even
in fact I’ve used a made a roux a different kind of way so if you’re
interested in seeing that video I will link to it right up there it’s for
occasion jambalaya and it is fantastic and we make a really dark roux in the
Ninja 30 for mac and cheese though you want a light roux
so you want it to be a pale yellow color so what we’re gonna do is pressure cook
this you need to heat the roux to get the flour cooked out of it but what I
found is that you can do that when you want a blond Roux you can do that right
in the ninja foodie under pressure so you just make this paste just like that
now cover it which I’m gonna use these the silicone lid I’ve big think they
come in a set of four or five I think they’re like I don’t know fifteen or
twenty dollars well worth it so I’m gonna set that on top there that will
just seal it from water and it really does a nice job look at that all right
so the rack I did rinse this off but you know you wouldn’t even really have to if
you didn’t want to and actually I’m sorry we’re gonna put that on the high
position so that our mac and cheese has a place to go as it expands so we’re
gonna go ahead and put this on now you can see it sits a little bit higher that
is not a problem it will work you just want to make sure it’s to the front so
that your lid can seal and can um doesn’t block the vent in the back all
right so we’re gonna put our lid on now because the pot is hot because I’ve had
the seer saute on you might notice a little bit of resistance push down and
turn and it’ll be fine okay it’s just because there is some steam built up in
there that’s pushing back against the alright so switch over to pressure we’re
gonna go eight minutes and hit the start button and make sure that your valve is
set to the seal and after the eight minutes is up we’ll do a two minute
natural release then I’ll manually release the rest of the pressure and
we’ll get all the cheesy goodness added in to make our mac and cheese okay so we
went under pressure for eight minutes on high and then I did a two minute natural
release and then I immediately released the rest of the pressure after the two
minutes I guess I should call that a manual release cuz it isn’t really an
immediate release since we did two minutes of natural release and it took
about a minute and a half minute and 45 seconds to finish releasing the pressure
and for the pin to drop down so now I’m going to open this up and do that away
from you because the steam coming out is very hot and now we’re gonna get our
container that has our roux off and I think it’s just gonna be easiest if I go
ahead and just lift this off now it’s gonna look funny in there don’t worry
about it it works perfectly I’ve already tried it it’s all nice and cooked you’re
not gonna get color on it this way but that doesn’t matter because you don’t
want color for macaroni and cheese because we don’t want it to be brown we
want it to be a creamy white sauce all right so I’m gonna take my gloves off
here now and give this a stir and just kind of see okay it looks good so yeah
those onions really did reduce down they’re very soft so I’m thinking when
we bite into them now they will not kind of pull out all in one fight and let’s
get this I think this will be still hot yeah now I’m just gonna put the roux
right in here I know some people skip the step of
doing a Rube with their macaroni and cheese and I mean you can but you’re
gonna have more chances of your cheese separating and kind of globbing up on
you which doesn’t make for a very attractive macaroni and cheese if you
ask me so I go ahead and use the roux almost all the time unless you’re using
like a Velveeta you don’t really need to and that’s just because it’s been
modified to not split on you so that’s that’s one of the things but Velveeta is
not very good for you alright so there we go now we’re really getting that that
chicken stock really thick now and I’m gonna add in I have one cup of half and
a half but I’m gonna only add half of it right now all right so we’re gonna stir this in
now you can put the seer saute on if I would not put it on high though at this
point I would go ahead and go maybe the medium the heat is gonna help to thicken
that up and melt our cheese so I’m just gonna stir this around so that it
thickens a little bit and while that’s happening let me talk about the cheese
so what I’ve decided to go with for this macaroni and cheese is a three cheese
blend of Monterey Jack which has been shredded and I used it’s about a cup of
each of these cheese’s so cup of Monterey Jack I’d use a cup of smoked
cheddar and a cup of smoked gouda and that produces a really nice flavor in
this macaroni and cheese and complements that smoky bacon so you could use any
kind of cheese blend that you want I also chose to keep these all white
cheeses which you could throw in cheddar cheese as well you could really
customize this any which way you want but I do recommend using a combination
of like a Monterey Jack or something else that some other cheese that is
really easily melted along with some of your other like cheddar cheeses that
sometimes like to split right looking good smells good too you can
smell the onions alright that looks like it’s thickened up nicely so let’s go
ahead and add in half of our cheese just mix it around I also find that the roux
with the half-and-half or milk you could use milk that’s no problem
I think it reheats a lot better too so if you’re gonna make this macaroni and
cheese and you know you’re not gonna eat it all and you want to reheat it the
next day you know sometimes it’s not very good reheated well this one really
is delicious all you have to do is put it in a pan put two cups of water in the
bottom of the inner pot cover the pan put the pan on a rack go under the steam
function with of course the valve open and steam it for 10 to 15 minutes and it
will not overcook the noodles but it heats up everything nicely if it’s not
as creamy as you like at that point you can also add in just a little bit of
half-and-half and that will make it a lot more creamier for you oh this is
looking so good alright let’s add in the rest of our cheese mmm the smell is amazing okay so that’s
looking really good now this is when you make a decision based on how you’re
gonna finish up your mac and cheese whether or not you add the other half of
a cup and it looks like I added a little more than a half of cup so I probably
have about 1/3 of a cup left between 1/4 and 1/3 left so this is totally up to
you if you’re gonna bake it with like a a bread crumb topping then you
definitely want to go ahead and add in the rest of the half and half because it
is going to reduce down more all right so this is looking great
and it has really thickened up so that’s perfect
now again if you want to go under a bake or broil go ahead and add in the
remaining liquid but I’m not going to do that this time
soon as we add in our bacon I’m gonna put it into my little cast-iron dish and
get it broil it up that way all right let’s get this bacon in so what I’m
gonna do is I’m gonna use probably three-quarters of this into the entire
mac and cheese and I’m gonna use the ones that are over cooked a little bit
inside and the ones that still couldn’t use a little more cooking I’m gonna use
those for a little garnish on top so let’s take out maybe just one slice will
be fine and we’ll crumble this up into the macaroni and cheese you can make
them any size you want I’m just making kind of big bite-sized pieces of course
you can always add more bacon to it so if you’re really a bacon lover you know
you can make up six strips of bacon that’s kind of the beauty of a macaroni
and cheese you can really customize it to the way you like it all right that looks great
now let me mix these in and see if it’s a good amount of bacon in there yeah it
looks really good I’m really gonna need only gonna need
one bake piece of bacon for my topping I’m gonna keep out two and put this last
one in there oh my gosh I can’t even explain the smell it’s so good I can’t
wait to eat this alright so now let me scoop out some of
this to put in my cast iron a little pan here and this cast iron pan fits really
nicely in the Ninja frutti on the rack in the low position but it doesn’t fit
in a high position the lid will not close because of these handles I also
understand that you can cut off the handles but I’m not sure how to do that
so I haven’t done that and you should get a bigger one so cast iron cooking is
something I see a lot in my groups I have not done a lot of it but I do see
it in Ninja foo do you want to want quite a bit alright let’s get this in
here yummy now this would be enough macaroni and cheese for like two to
three side portions I mean it would be an awful lot or just one person even
though the pans look kind of small it really is a lot of macaroni and cheese
in here it’s probably about two and a half to three cups of cheese alright so
before I get that topped and in the broiler I’m gonna go ahead and get the
rest of this macaroni and cheese out into a little casserole dish just for
later and then clean up the pot a little bit and then we’ll get our cheese topped
on here and we’ll get this under the broiler alright so I have set the ninja
foodie on broil and preheating for 10 minutes and in the meantime what I’ve
noticed is that the macaroni and cheese has really thickened up quite a bit and
on since I’m gonna go under boil and I want it to be creamy I’m gonna add in a
little bit more of this half-and-half so maybe about two tablespoons in there and
then I’m just gonna pour the rest in on that and I’ll mix
that’s going to keep it really creamy now if you don’t like a really creamy
macaroni and cheese you like it more a texture of baked then you certainly do
not have to do this I did sneak a bite though it’s delicious
it’s really really good all right so to top off the bacon onion mac and cheese
what i’ve decided to use is a really sharp sharp cheddar cheese and also just
a little blend of pre-shredded that has some yellow cheddar and a little bit of
Monterey Jack in it and I’m just gonna do that for color mostly I think this is
the cheese that’s gonna give the great flavor so I’m just gonna grate that over
top oh I’m so looking forward to this macaroni and cheese is one of those
indulgences for me I don’t make it very often my husband isn’t a huge fan of it
although he loves bacon so he actually likes this version so when I get to make
it I’m really excited about it I also have another type of macaroni and cheese
that I made in the Ninja foodie and I’m gonna link to that recipe right up there
and don’t let the figs fool you because the figs in it are delicious
so give that recipe a try – all right so I didn’t measure this it’s maybe two
tablespoons of this really super sharp aged cheddar I think it’s a cheddar
reserve and I will find the exact brand that I use and I will link to it below
or at least write a description I don’t know if you can find it on Amazon but I
find it at Sam’s Club so I’ll make sure I write exactly what it is then I’m just
gonna take another tablespoon or so and just go around do you want to kind of
make sure that I’m covering up any of the pasta because if it’s uncovered it’s
going to cook and become like a little crunchy and you don’t want that for your
mac and cheese so anywhere you see a little bit of pasta just add that cheese
on top and that will protect it push it in just like
oh wow this looks beautiful I’m so excited
okay so we have been preheating for almost five minutes and that’s probably
enough usually I say to go a full ten but I think the five minutes is gonna be
fine for this and we’ll put this on the rack in the low position go ahead and
open up the lid and set it down and close this and while that’s heating up
I’m gonna go ahead and mix this into now you know what’s interesting is I wonder
if this I think this is a 6 cup umm pyrex dish which is fine to use in the
ninja foodie if you’re not going under pressure so I wondering now that I’m
looking at it I wonder if this fits on the rack and would go in there cuz you
could do the whole thing you know just keep it all in there and then top the
whole thing and pop this in and boil it and then serve it that would be really
pretty oh I forgot to put the bacon on as the garnish I’m so silly all right so
let’s just garnish this up a little bit it’s already melting looks amazing I’m
so excited it’s the little things right like bacon bacon is so exciting I love
it very perfect now I could probably saved
another another one for this but I’m just gonna mix it in and it won’t have
to have the pretty garnish on top we go ahead and just get this one all
set up – now the other thing you could do and because we’ve added in that extra
little bit of half-and-half this would be great is that you could make this one
up and stick it in the freezer and then just get it out let it thaw and bake it
up in the Ninja frutti if this fits we’re going to find that out though
before the end of this video because I am really excited to find out yum-yum-yum all right that’s good I also
didn’t mention here but this was about a cup and a half to two cups of the
shredded cheese perfect and you can see the little bacon
poking through so that’s awesome perfect and then this is like the chef’s
treat mmm that cheese is amazing amazing alright I’m just gonna clean up here a
little bit let’s check on this so first oh wow it has to go a little bit longer
but it is gorgeous alright so we just have about 30 seconds left so I
preheated for 5 minutes and I broiled for 5 minutes and then we’ll check it
now you could always broil longer if you want to but I have a feeling it’s gonna
be done it after 5 minutes I don’t want to burn the cheese I just want it melted
and lightly browned like golden brown so I wait for the last 10 seconds when I
said I was gonna check to see if this would fit in the Ninja frutti my husband
bet me a dollar that it’s not going to now I haven’t tried it before – because
to be honest I’d never crossed my mind so I’m gonna try it and if it fits I
just earned a dollar and if it doesn’t fit I owe my husband a dollar all right
oh that looks gorgeous perfect that’s perfect timing oh boy
this is really beautiful and I know it’s gonna taste good
alright look at that alright so while this cools down for me to taste test it
let’s see if I can get this on oh my gosh
let’s see it’ll be cool I’m gonna keep my gloves on cuz everything’s kinda hot
if this works I’m gonna be so excited because that’s a Holt that’s another
container that I can use alright ready oh it doesn’t fit husband was right I lost the bet all right here you go
oh man I’m disappointed I was sure it was gonna fit
oh well it’s these edges anyway what I’ll do is I’ll transfer this into a pan
that actually does fit in the ninja foodie and I will bake it up or I may go
ahead and freeze it just like that I’m not sure yet but anyway we don’t need to
worry about that you can do it however you like but for now let’s get to
tasting D bacon onion mac and cheese boom so excited but I need a fork all
right so come on four and now I have my chipotle remember I talked about adding
that in so this is just ground Chipotle I’m just gonna sprinkle it on top it
adds a little smoky heat and really pairs nicely with this bacon onion mac
but a little bit goes a long way so I could sprinkle it on like this but I’m
not gonna do that I’m gonna sprinkle it onto my hand look at that if I would
have dropped that much on there oh boy so just a tiny bit maybe a quarter of a
teaspoon on this whole thing maybe not even that much 1/8 now if you
like it really spicy load it up all right let me get this
back in here my hands are clean I promise
perfect I love Chipotle I like it much better than cayenne although sometimes I
use cayenne just depending on the recipe but I like the smokiness of the chipotle
pepper all right let’s do this I gotta get a piece of bacon so the cheese is
wonderful oh my gosh and inside it is so creamy
oh wow that is perfect that’s exactly the way I wanted it oh my god that’s
gorgeous Wow oh my gosh I’m so excited about
Louis this is perfect I got a piece of bacon in there I think my dog heard
bacon because here she comes Wow I am not kidding you this is the
best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had and the inspiration came from a
restaurant that we went to and they had a really good bacon mac and cheese and I
was like oh I want to make that and I tried a couple times and it just didn’t
have the same like creamy feel that there’s did and I but this one this one
is the winner so you’ve got to try this guys it’s perfect I’m really excited about this all right well this one didn’t fit but
that’s okay because I looked in my cabinets and I found this little guy
that is gonna fit so what I’m doing right now is just transferring this over
so that I can freeze this for later and it will fit in the ninja foodie so
before you go out and buy those new accessories check your cabinets chances
are you’ve got a few things that are gonna fit and they’ll work great in the
ninja foody just don’t pressure cook in Pyrex