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French Onion Mac and Cheese


From the kitchen of Julia Coenen

Onion mixture
4 sweet onions (about softball size), sliced
3-4 Tblsp. butter
1 Tblsp. olive oil
1 fresh bay leaf
1 10.5 oz. can Beef Consommé (soup aisle)

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil and slowly cook onions and bay leaf until onions are deeply caramelized (may take 30 minutes). Add a little salt and pepper and beef consommé. Continue to cook on low heat, it will get thick. Take out bay leaf. Set aside.
 

Topping
1 Tblsp. olive
2 Tblsp. butter
2 Tblsp. fresh garlic, crushed (5-6 cloves)
2 cups Panko crumbs
2 Tblsp. fresh thyme, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

In small fry pan, melt butter with olive oil over low heat. Heat garlic, add Panko crumbs and stir until lightly browned. Remove from heat, add thyme, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
 

Filling
1 pound box of macaroni or other short pasta
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cream

In a 2 quart pan, boil water for pasta, when pasta is almost cooked, drain well. Stir in Swiss and Cheddar cheeses and 1 cup of cream, make sure it is creamy and everything’s melted.

Gently stir onion mixture into cheese and pasta and pour into a buttered 9x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle with panko crumb mix and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Terri’s notes:
~ 1 Tblsp. fresh chopped herbs is equal to about 1 tsp. dried, but try the fresh.
~ Beef Consommé is a rich flavored beef stock with a bit of gelatin, usually clarified.
~ Serve as a side or a main dish with a big salad. Ultimate, grown-up, comfort food!

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