Fancy Mac and Cheese, My Way



This is another Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) recipe with just a couple slight changes. One change is that I dislike mushrooms, you will not find mushrooms in my mac and cheese. The second change is that I do not add Fontina cheese but instead up the amount of Gruyere cheese, as I love the nutty flavor the Gruyere gives. The rest of the recipe is the same.  I also used only one pound of macaroni instead of 1 1/2 pounds.

To make this recipe a little easier I usually cook my bacon and caramelize the onions one day in advance.

8 slices thick cut bacon (cooked and chopped)
2 whole onions (peeled, halved and thinly sliced)
5 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
4 ounces goat cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/4 cup flour
2 cups whole milk (I use 1%- it worked just fine)
1/2 cup half and half
2 whole eggs, beaten
4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola

In a large skillet over medium low heat, sauté onions in one tablespoon of butter, stirring occasionally until golden brown. This takes some time…don’t rush, you really want the onions to caramelize.  Grate the Parmesan cheese and Gruyere cheese and unwrap the goat cheese. Cook the macaroni until just under cooked. Drain and set aside.

To make the sauce, Melt 4 Tablespoons of butter into LARGE pot over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour , whisking to combine. Let the roux cook for a minute or so continually whisking. Pour in the milk, still whisking, cook for 3-5 minutes until thick and bubbly. Add the half and half, 1 teaspoon of salt , plenty of black pepper and stir to combine.

Spoon about 1/4 cup of the hot white sauce into the small bowl with the beaten eggs, stirring with a fork as you drizzle the white sauce in. Once combined pour the mixture into the pot with the white sauce, stirring constantly.
Add the Goat cheese, Parmesan cheese and Gruyere cheese. Stir to melt. Add the cooked Macaroni to the sauce and stir to coat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. Lay half of the cooked onions on the bottom of the pan, followed by half of the macaroni, half of the Gorgonzola and half of the bacon. Repeat layers, ending with the bacon on top!

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly!



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