Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Onion Mushroom Mac & Cheese

Mac and cheese will get me every time. It doesn't matter how it's made or what goes into it, I wanna eat it. This mac and cheese recipe happens to be the best I have ever eaten. The pasta is ooey and gooey, the middle layer is sweet and savory, and the top is crusty and golden. I have a very similar recipe on the blog, the only difference is that the middle layer is spinach. I made this as a side dish to go with some grass-fed filet mignon for my Valentine's Day dinner with my boyfriend. It was heavenly.


-2 onions
-Package of mushrooms
-1 teaspoon of butter
-3 tablespoons of dry whole wheat breadcrumbs
-3 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 teaspoon of paprika
-1 3/4 cups of low fat milk
-3 tablespoons of flour
-2 cups of shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (I like to grate my own)
-1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese (this is what helps cut down on the cheese and increases the protein)
-1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-Freshly ground pepper, to taste
-8oz of whole wheat elbow pasta, or whatever shape you like

-Bring salted water to a boil. Preheat your oven to 425F. Cut up your mushrooms in half (or quarters if they're big). Place them in a baking sheet, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over them, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper and mix them around. Roast them until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Put them aside. Increase the oven temperature to 450F.

-For the caramelized onions, cut the onion in half lengthwise, then place the onion cut side down and slice them thinly.

-In a skillet over medium-low heat, add a teaspoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil.

-Add your sliced onions and cook them for about 40 minutes.

-I's a long time. But this is how you caramelize onions. I actually could have cooked them for longer but I was getting impatient. You don't have to do it for that long, as long as they're golden brown and the way YOU like them, that's how long you can cook it for.
-In the middle of all of this, your water has probably started to boil. Add your pasta and cook 5 minutes less than the instructions on the box. Drain it and set aside.

-In a small bow, combine the bread crumbs, paprika and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.

-Now, let's get started on the last part of this whole mess, the cheese sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups of milk over medium high heat, until steaming.

-In a separate bowl, glass or measuring cup add the remaining 1/4 cup milk and whisk the all-purpose flour into it until smooth. Add that to the steaming milk.

-Whisk the milk constantly until it thickens up, it should take 3-5 minutes. You'll know it's there when it coats the back of your spoon.

-Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.

-Add cheddar and cottage cheese.

-Now, add the pasta to the cheese sauce.

-In an oiled 2 quart dish, add half the pasta and cheese mixture.

-Add all your mushrooms and onions on top of that.

-Now, add the rest of the pasta on top.

-Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.

-Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and golden on top.

Hmm......that is some GOOOOOD comfort food. It IS a little bit indulgent but what I usually do (that picture up top with the red meat does not count because it was Valentine's Day ok??? Don't judge me!!) is add a big old salad to a small amount of mac and cheese. Enjoy!!

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