The experts preach that macaroni and cheese has been around for over five hundred years. If this is true, I think there is a different recipe for each one of those years. Macaroni and cheese is one of those dishes which has a great taste base but will take practically any variation of cheeses and we all know how many kinds of fromage there are, you don’t?
I tried Googling it but there’s too many to count! The hardest part of making this macaroni and cheese is probably the bechamel sauce. This is a French style white sauce used as a base for many other dishes and is made by mixing equal parts of butter and flour creating a roux. This will thicken the sauce after the milk has been added.
This is my second mac and cheese recipe in a week and your probably wondering why. This post is being hooked up to the Crazy Cooking Challenge being hosted by Tina from Moms Crazy Cooking. This months challenge is for seventy three different bloggers to find, make and post the ultimate mac and cheese dish. The recipe must come from another blog and after some searching I decided to make Pioneer Woman’s bacon and onion dish. This lady has some great recipes and lately has been doing some Food Network shows but her blog posts are funny and down to earth. She’s been blogging for a long time but doesn’t seem to have forgotten her blogging roots.
The dish was amazing and I did make two changes to the recipe by using mini penne and switching up the Parmesan to Pecorino just because I had a huge chunk of it in the fridge. This dish is creamy and cheesy but the kick in the pants taste comes from the caramelized onions and crispy bacon which are mixed through and on top just in case your fork didn’t score any pieces on the way up.
Fall is coming and if you just need a big dish of cheesy love to have on your dinner table one night then make this, you wont regret it. Try voting for your favorite mac dish below if you can make it through all of the deliciousness.
Here’s the recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman:
4 cups Macaroni, I used penne.
8 Tablespoons Butter (Salted Butter)
2 whole Medium Onions, Cut In Half And Sliced Thin
10 slices Regular Bacon
1 Tablespoon Bacon Grease (reserved From Bacon Slices)
1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
2 cups Whole Or 2% Milk
1/2 cup Half-and-half
2 whole Egg Yolks, Beaten
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Grated Gruyere Cheese
1/2 cup Grated Fontina Cheese
1/2 cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, I used Pecorino
4 ounces, weight Chevre
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook macaroni for half the time of the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Fry bacon until slightly, but not overly, crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Reserve grease.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet and then saute onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and soft. Set aside.
In a pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter (and add 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease for good measure!). Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 1 minute. Pour in milk and half & half, then cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick. Reduce heat to low. Add salt & pepper to taste. (Do not under salt!)
Beat egg yolks and drizzle 1/4 cup hot mixture into the yolks, stirring constantly. Stir to combine. Pour egg mixture into sauce and cook for another minute.
Add cheeses and stir until melted. Add onions and bacon and stir. Taste for seasonings and add more salt if needed. Add cooked macaroni and stir to coat.
Pour into a baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until sizzling and hot.