Bacon and Balsamic Onion Macaroni and Cheese


Bacon Macaroni and Cheese with Balsamic Onions

We are in all out comfort food mode in our house.  It may have been the first day of Spring but last night we received word that my mother-in-law is in her final days.  So, tomorrow we will head back home.   I will probably not post next week but will start again just as soon as we return.

This dish was a huge warm hug on what are still chilly nights in this part of the country.  Last night it was still only in the low 20s at dinner time but because it was the first day of Spring I refused to put my coat on.  Silly I know but it made me feel like warm temperatures are actually getting closer.

Verdict:

This was a hands down huge hit.  I wish I could add smell to this picture because it doesn’t look like much but it smelled amazing.  My daughter loved the balsamic onions, my son loved the bacon.  I loved that it really wasn’t that difficult to make but seemed really fancy.

One thing I have learned is not to cook with the packaged “pre-shredded” cheese when you can avoid it.  It doesn’t have the same flavor as block cheese and it really only takes a minute or two to shred the cheese with a box grater.  For macaroni and cheese you really want to have a full flavored cheese and not one that is coated so it won’t stick together.

I served this dish with a side of broccoli. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pasta, cooked according to package directions (al dente)
  • 1 lb bacon, fried crisp and cut up into small pieces
  • 3 large sweet onions, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • salt
  • 3 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, freshly shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Directions:

  1. Once the bacon has been cooked and cut up into small pieces drain the fat from the pan and wipeout with a paper towel.  Add butter and onions to the pan and place over medium-low heat.  As the butter begins to melt stir well.  Lightly salt the onions while they are cooking.  The onions should cook for 20-30 minutes until they are well browned but NOT burnt.  Keep the heat low.  If they start to cook too fast turn the heat down.
  2. Once the onions are well browned add the balsamic vinegar and stir for 2-3 minutes until the vinegar is absorbed and you scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
  3. To the cooked pasta in a large pan add bacon, onion mixture, cheeses, cream and milk.   Return pan to low heat and stir until all ingredients are well blended and cheeses have melted. 
  4. Remove pan from heat and serve.

 

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