Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I WON! {French Onion Mac & Cheese}

Just a wee bit overdue (in true Danielle fashion), I want to thank everyone who took the time to vote, support, and share my recipe for the Dairy Goodness Anyday Magic Comforting Mac & Cheese challenge. I am so very happy to report that my recipe for French Onion Mac & Cheese won the challenge with a whopping 1302 votes! I am so blown away by the amount of support that came my way during this challenge, and obviously could have gotten this far without it. Thank you so much for putting a smile on my face each and every morning of the challenge. It was a truly a pleasure coming up with my mac and cheese recipe, which combined two of my favourite cheesy dishes into one indulgent treat! Now that the challenge is over I am happy to be able to share my recipe with you right here and hope that you enjoy this recipe just as much my family and myself did! 

4 tbso butter, divided (plus more for buttering serving dishes)
1 1/2 red onions, sliced
4 tbsp dry red wine (or beef broth)
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups 10% cream
1/3 cup beef broth
3 slices white bread, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups Canadian cheddar cheese, shredded (reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
1 1/2 cups Canadian Gruyere, shredded (reserve 1/2 cup for topping)
1 tsp salt
generous pinch of white pepper
2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked al dente

  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Butter 4 individual oven-proof soup bowls and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp butter at medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the red onion and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until very soft and caramelized (about 15 minutes). In the last five minutes of cooking, add the red wine and thyme and raise heat to medium. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a medium pot set to medium heat, add the milk, cream, and beef broth and heat until warm. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, toss the diced white bread with the melted butter until evenly coated and set aside.
  5. In a large pot add the remaining 3 tbsp butter and melt at medium heat. When the butter begins to froth, add the flour and whisk to incorporate for 1 minute. Add the warm cream mixture (this mixture should warm not how. You want it below the temperature of the flour and butter mixture) a bit at a time, while stirring and thickening. Once all of the cream mixture has been added, continue cooking for about 3-5 minutes while mixture thickens slightly. Stir occasionally.
  6. Remove cream mixture from heat and stir in cheddar (reserving 1/4 cup for topping), Gruyere (reserving 1/2 cup for topping), and caramelized onion mixture. Taste and season additionally with salt and pepper, if needed. Stir in the elbow macaroni, and evenly scoop into buttered  soup bowls.
  7. Top the filled soup bowls evenly with the diced, buttered bread and then the reserved cheeses and place on a baking sheet. Place in oven for 30 minutes, or until topping becomes golden.
  8. Serve immediately.
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