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Friday, January 3, 2014

Mac and Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Bacon


Often when J and I make dinner I let him choose the recipe, I was not surprised when he chose this recipe. Bacon + mac and cheese, this is a recipe that any man would love. Of course I swapped vegan bacon out for the pork bacon, but I think that it's growing on J, he even asks that I make it for breakfast. This recipe was ready in about half an hour, also a serious plus.

Adapted from Julia's Album.

Ingredients: 
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 vidalia onion, sliced
-pinch of salt
-1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
-4 strips of vegan bacon
-8 oz ziti pasta, or other small pasta
-2/3 cup heavy cream
-1/3 cup milk
-1 1/2 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese
-1/4 teaspoon salt 
-cayenne pepper
-a pinch of paprika
Heat the onion over high heat constantly stirring, for ten minutes.
Add salt.
Reduce to low, stirring for twenty minutes.

When the onions have about ten minutes left, start heating the vegan bacon until crispy. Also, boil a large pot of salted water and cook the ziti according to package directions. Once finished, drain the ziti and pour it back into the pot that it was cooked in.


After twenty minutes, remove from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar. 
Remove the bacon from the heat and slice into small pieces. In a saucepan combine the heavy cream, milk, cheddar cheese, salt, cayenne and paprika. Stir until the cheese is melted.

Pour the cheese sauce over the finished pasta.

Mix the bacon and caramelized onions into the pasta with the cheese sauce.

Enjoy.

This reminded me of a dish from one of my favorite restaurants. The Chocolate Bar sells a build-your-own mac and cheese and I always order mine with caramelized onions and roasted red peppers. The caramelized onions in this dish were as good as those from the restaurant. Deglazing the pan with the balsamic vinegar added a nice depth of flavor to the caramelized onions. The saltiness from the bacon went well with all of the other ingredients and the paprika/cayenne pepper added a nice heat. We had no leftovers, that's always a good sign in our house.

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