Every four years, a reminder happens…one that I try to bury my head in the sand and not think about as much as possible. It is that “one” reminder as a mom that you don’t want or need to be reminded of…I failed as a mom! It’s true! I have failed! How you ask? Well my two children, they are Green Bay Packer fans! Now you might say, well that isn’t bad…well it is when they grew up in a faithful Denver Bronco household AND they grew up in Colorado! @wheredidigowrong
So you may ask, why only every four years? Well that is when the two teams meet up to play. And it has been four years since the last match up, so this past Sunday was the day! While the Bronco’s won four years ago; we won’t talk about last Sunday. Please don’t even ask me the score…
My kids and I live about two hours apart, they both go to school, work and my daughter is married, so for them to make the trip out here to the plains of Colorado, it takes a lot of effort on their part. So I do my best to make each trip out here special for them.
Last Sunday when they came out for the “big” game, I decided since they were Green Bay Packer’s fans, I would make the sacrifice and serve a Green Bay Packer themed meal.
My daughter and son-in-law who were engaged at Lambeau Field, (yes they are “that” type of fan) told me about Pack-n-Cheese. My understanding from them is that this is a staple and a “must have” when going to a game at Lambeau Field.
For the game I worked on my own rendition; however in full disclosure, I’m told that the Pack-n-Cheese at Lambeau Field is served with Brats which are cut up into slices and placed in the Pack-N-Cheese. The mom in me just couldn’t justify serving that much fat in one dish…so I served them on the side. Not sure I improved any nutrition facts there…
You will need:
- 1 box of noodles (your choice…I used small shells)
- 1 lb bacon
- 1 pkg of cooked brats
- 1 cup Panko Crumbs
- 1/2 cup of milk (or heavy cream…which makes it well creamier)
- 1 pkg (2 lb) of processed cheese
- 1 stick of butter
- Canned parmesan cheese
Cook your bacon via your preferred method. For me, I like to put the bacon on a cookie sheet/stone and bake in the oven at 350 degrees until the desired crispness has been achieved. Once cooked, drain and cool. If you are going to cook your Pack-n-Cheese after it is assembled, keep your oven at 350 degrees. If you are going to store for later use, you can turn your oven off once the bacon is cooked.
While your bacon is cooking, boil water and cook your noodles per the direction on the package. Drain and set aside.
If you are going to add the brats (traditional), cook them at this time per the directions on the package, once cooked, set aside.
After your noodles, bacon, and brats (if using) are cooked, you can begin the next process.
Place the noodles in a 9 x 13″ pan. Crumble your bacon on top of the noodles. If you are using your brats, slice and place on top of the noodles and bacon.
Slice your cheese block into small chunks and place on top of the noodles. Next slice your stick of butter into small slice and place on top of noodle/meat/cheese picture. Pour milk on top of the noodles.
Once you have assembled the Pack-n-Cheese, you can cook it right away or refrigerate until you are ready. If refrigerating, once you are ready and cook, heat oven to 350 degrees before proceeding.
Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes. Stir noodle mixture and return to the oven.
Cook another 10 minutes and stir again.
*If you refrigerated your Pack-n-Cheese, cook an extra 10 minutes before proceeding.*
Cook another 10 minutes, stir and coat the top of the Pack-n-Cheese mixture with parmesan cheese and then the Panko crumbs. Return to the oven.
Cook another 10 minutes or until the Panko crumbs are “toasty”.
If you try this recipe, comment below with how it turned out and any variations you might have tried. Or share your best “Football” food!