Once again, I made a dinner that everyone in the Betty and Boo household enjoyed. And once again, it’s another macaroni and cheese dish. (Is it against the law to feed your kids macaroni and cheese every night? Because I am convinced that doing so would be the secret to dinnertime harmony in our house.) I’ve also been trying to keep our grocery bill to a reasonable amount, and that means more homemade mac and cheese instead of Stouffers.
This recipe comes to us from Rachael Ray’s cookbook, Just In Time! On the side of the page is written “the kids will eat it.” Always skeptical, I had my doubts (plus, Rach doesn’t have kids so in my mind, that automatically disqualifies anyone from talking to me about what kids will and won’t eat). Still, this was a success even with the significant variations that I made to it.
Mac and Cheese Lorraine
1 lb. gemelli pasta or other short-cut pasta (I used gemelli.)
1 lb. bacon, chopped (I used 6 Morningstar Vegetarian Bacon Strips. A few more would have been better.)
1 tbsp. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), once around the pan
2 onions, quartered and sliced (I used my ever-present bag of frozen chopped onions because I don’t do onions.)
1/2 c. dry white wine (nope, didn’t have)
2 tbsps. butter
2 tbsps. all-purpose flour
1 c. chicken stock (I used vegetable stock)
1 c. whole milk (I used 2%)
2 cups shredded Gruyere (I used a mix of cheddar, monteray jack, queso fresco and one other kind of cheese)
A little freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 rounded tbsp. Dijon mustard
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water liberally, add the past, and cook al dente. Drain. Cook the bacon in the EVOO in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. When crisp, 5-6 minutes, remove to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon and drain off all but 2-3 tbsps of the fat. (By using the veggie bacon, which is microwavable, this step is eliminated.) Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are beginning to carmelize. Add the wine and cook for another minute.
While the onions cook, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the stock and milk and bring to a bubble. Cook for a few minutes to thicken, then season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese, then add the nutmeg, mustard, and salt and pepper.
Toss the pasta with the onions, then stir in the cheese sauce. Top each serving with some of the crispy bacon.
I served this with fish sticks and everyone ate it, pronouncing it “delicious!”