Bacon and Carmelized Onion Mac and cheese

When you think of comfort food...what comes to mind?  casseroles? biscuits? mashed potatoes and gravy? fried chicken?  How about macaroni and cheese?  That goes in that list right?  How about mac and cheese made with 4 different kinds of fancy cheeses with some caramelized onions and bacon bits mixed in?  Fancy Macaroni, that's what it's called.  I told hubby that I was going to make some mac and cheese.  This is how the conversation went...

me:  "Hey, how about mac and cheese for dinner?"

hubby:  "that sounds ok."

me:  "How about that mac and cheese with some bacon mi..."

hubby (interrupts):  "YES!"

enough said.  Did not even have to finish my sentence.

hubby loves anything with bacon.  remember bacon brownies?  His favorite.  I mentioned maple-bacon popcorn the other night.  He's been bugging me to make it ever since.  It's on my to-make list.  Along with a billion other things.  I really need to find a bunch of people to give away treats to, because my favorite things to make are bread, cheesecakes, pies and other sweets.  And heaven forbid we eat all these things (but sometimes we do).   Ok so the mac and cheese.

First slice you up some onions.  Every time I chop onions I hate my life because it hurts!  It makes me cry and hurts my eyes.  One day out of the blue (after hearing me yell out loud in the kitchen because my eyes were burning) hubby was like..."Hey dear you know if you light a candle next to you while cutting onions, that won't happen!"  what?!  I have been cooking for you-always with onions, for 2 and 1/2 years, and you are just now telling me this awesome tip?!  Well, hubby was right.  All you have to do is light a candle next to your cutting workspace, and the tears are gone!  It's magical.  

Caramelize those onions.

Next, fry you up some bacon.  Not too crisp, but just until it is a almost all crispy.  

Then, shred you up some cheese.  I used 4 different kinds, feel free to experiment.  I used goat cheese, sharp cheddar, gruyere, and parmesan.

Now just throw it all together with some bread crumbs on top and bake it.

Mmmm.  So good and creamy. and cheesy. and bacon-y.  and caramelized onion-y.

Fancy Macaroni
Adapted from ThePioneerWoman

    • 4 cups macaroni, cooked to almost al dente
    • 8 tablespoons butter 
    • 2 onions, thinly sliced
    • 10 slices regular bacon
    • 1 tablespoon bacon grease (reserved from bacon slices)
    • ¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups milk
    • ½ cups half-and-half
    • 2 whole egg yolks, beaten
    • Salt And Pepper, to taste
    • ½ cups grated gruyere cheese
    • ½ cups grated fontina cheese (I used cheddar, cause it's what I had)
    • ½ cups grated parmesan cheese
    • 4 ounces goat cheese
    • Breadcrumbs - your choice.  I used panko.

    • Preheat Oven to 350.

    • 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. 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. 

    • 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.  Top with bread crumbs.
  • Pour into a baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until sizzling and hot. 

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