CARAMELIZED ONION AND BACON MACARONI AND CHEESE

After a long week for black America, all we wanted to do was sit back and spend a weekend doing our favorite things with our favorite people. I spent my time having a lot of tough conversations with friends and family about what it means going forward. We so often associate food with moments or memories in our lives. During times where we need comfort, we think of things like spaghetti, fried chicken, gravy, and my all-time favorite: mac n cheese.

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This Sunday morning I had a hankering for something savory and a little sweet and turns out this combo would hit the spot. I asked my Twitter folks, and apparently caramelized onions in macaroni and cheese is not uncommon, so I went for it! For texture and saltiness I topped the macaroni off with green onions, sugar-cured bacon, and homemade bread crumbs. This is not your mother's mac n cheese, but that doesn't mean it isn't good til the last bite! I used 5 cheeses to make this recipe and I have zero plans of tweaking it -- it was the perfect combination. Give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz box of elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons of salted butter
  • 2 cups whole milk (or 2%)
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 5 strips of bacon
  • 1 slice of white bread
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of (Kraft Mexican) 4-cheese mix
  • 2 Vidalia (or regular) sweet onions
  • 1 tablespoon dijon/spicy mustard

How it goes down:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).
  2. The onions: the caramelization (?) process takes a reallllyyyy long time. Dice the two onions and cook them on medium in a saute pan coated with 2 tbsp of oil. Stir periodically for ~40 minutes.
  3. In a giant pot, bring about 8 cups of water to a boil.
  4. On a baking sheet, lay flat 5 strips of bacon. Place them and the slice of bread in the oven for 20 minutes (or until everything looks crispy).
  5. When the water begins to boil, add the entire box of macaroni and cheese. Boil for 8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water. *Overcooked noodles means mushy mac n cheese, and nobody wants that*
  6. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, combine the milk, flour, and butter. Whisk them together as they come to a boil then turn the heat down low. Continue to whisk until a thick sauce forms. Slowly stir in all of the cheeses and turn off the heat.
  7. When the bacon and bread are finished, chop up the bacon and bread into crumbles. Season the bread how you like (I used garlic, s, and p)
  8. Grease a large glass baking pan and fill with the macaroni noodles. Slowly mix in the cheese sauce. Top with bacon and bread crumbs and bake for 15 minutes (on 375).
  9. While the mac n cheese is in the oven, chop the green onions and set aside. Top the macaroni and cheese with them once it's out the oven!
  10. Eat some. Then some more. Then come back for even more for a late night snack. It gets better with time, trussstttt me.
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