Friday, January 31, 2014

Mac n Cheese

Comfort food at it's finest:  Mac n Cheese.  Mmmmmmmmmmmm . ..hearty, flavorful and cheesy.  Don't miss out on this one - it's amazing.

Mac n Cheese

1 lb Macaroni
3 Cups Water
1 and 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 lb Bacon
1 Cup Red Onion, Diced
3 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
2 Cups Parmesan Cheese (divided)
2 Egg Yolks, lightly beaten
1 and 1/2 Cups Breadcrumbs

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a 9x13 pan (butter it).  Set aside.

Step 2:  Cook the macaroni according to box instructions.  Drain and set aside.

Step 3:  Cook the bacon until crispy.  I prefer to bake my bacon, but frying works fine.  Once crispy, remove the bacon from the pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.  The paper towel will absorb the excess grease.  Do not throw out the bacon grease that is in the pan!  Let the bacon cool until it becomes easy to handle.  Once cooled, chop/crumble into small pieces. 

Step 4:  In a fry pan (use the same one as the bacon if you fried it) - add the onion and garlic and fry until onions are soft.  Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on plate lined with a paper towel. 

Step 5:  In a large saucepan, heat the water and cream to a simmer.  Once simmering, remove from the heat and slowly stir in the cheddar cheese and 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese.  Continue to stir until it's mostly dissolved.  Next, slowly temper the egg yolks by adding a tablespoon of the cream sauce to the yolks and mixing together thoroughly.  Do this again with the cream sauce and egg yolks (do it 4 or 5 times total).  Always be sure to mix the cream sauce into the egg yolks thoroughly!!  This is an important step because you do not want your yolks to curdle.  Then, slowly add tempered yolks into the the rest of the cream sauce and mix thoroughly.

Step 6:  Place the macaroni into a large mixing bowl.  Pour the cream sauce over the macaroni and add the onions and bacon to the bowl too.  Mix together well.  Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top as well as the breadcrumbs.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and heated through.  

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