It's that time again, folks! It's time for the Real Cream Anyday Magic Great Cream Challenge! After participating in the challenge for three years now, and winning the Creamy Seafood Challenge last year with my Creamy Clam & Vegetable Chowder, I feel more excited than ever to be able to participate in three of the themes represented in the challenge this year. The first of my three challenges that I will embark on has gotta be one of the best comfort foods this earth has ever seen, the childhood favourite that no one can seem to really shake, Comforting Mac & Cheese.
When I first began brainstorming what type of mac & cheese recipe I would make for the challenge, I started by writing down all of my favourite ways to enjoy cheese, and let me tell you, that list was mighty long! After writing out two full foolscap pages full of mouthwatering ways to indulge in cheese, there was one dish that kept coming back to my mind, French Onion Soup. I would say that french onion soup, with its rich and warming beef broth, and sinfully cheesy crouton topping, is right up there with mac & cheese as one of the most comforting dishes on the planet. With hybrid dishes already a predicted food trend for 2014, I could just tell that I was onto something, developing a recipe for French Onion Mac & Cheese. I took a very basic standby recipe for mac & cheese and amped it up by introducing the flavours and textures that I love in a great french onion soup. Thinly sliced onions are slowly caramelized with fresh thyme, deglazed with dry red wine and stirred into the thick and creamy béchamel sauce, infused with savoury beef broth. The caramelized onion-laden cheese and noodle mixture is served up in individual soup bowls, and topped with a crispy Canadian Gruyere cheese and crouton topping to resemble a bowl of classic french onion soup. Do I have your attention yet? I've gotta say, my French Onion Mac & Cheese tasted just as wonderful as it sounds! I knew I had a dish I would be very proud to enter into the competition and share with my fellow readers and home cooks. I can't wait for you to try out my French Onion Soup Mac & Cheese in your own home!
Please head over to The Great Cream Challenge site to check out the other recipes in the challenge and vote on your favourite (mine of course!) for a chance to win a Paderno stainless steel cookware set!