Ingredients

2 cups Uncooked Macaroni
1 cup Shredded Brie
1 cup shredded Smoked Gouda
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1 cup Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
1/2 cup Mascarpone
2 cups Milk
1/2 cup Panko flakes or bread crumbs
1/2 lb Bacon
2 quarts water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium onion
1 1/2 tbsp flour
Mac and Cheese is a great side to many main courses and a regular feature in US cuisine. This version is a more sophisticated and tasty version of that basic recipe.

Instructions

1.Mix the water and ½ tsp salt and bring to boil. Add macaroni noodles and cook until the noodles are done. Remove from heat and drain the water.
2.Fry bacon in a large skillet and remove, do not drain the grease. Once the bacon is done add the onion and sautee until the onion is turning golden brown on the edges. Add flour and mix in well. Turn the heat to low and add the milk, stirring constantly for 7-10 minutes. Stir in the cheeses, chives and chopped bacon. Place the whole mix in a casserole dish and sprinkle the panko crust over the top so it creates an even layer.
3.Put in oven covered at 350º for 10-15 minutes.

This is one of those great comfort foods. The combination of tastes and textures in this make it fun to make and eat. A couple of the keys to making this work are to sauté the onions right. I like to use the bacon grease that’s left to add a nice smoky bacon taste to the onions but if you prefer you can use olive oil or butter. Ideally you will have about 2 tablespoons of oil or grease to work with. Make sure the oil is hot before adding the onions to bring out the best flavor and keep them from getting mushy.

The next key to making this work is to work with cold cheese, especially the brie which won’t shred right unless it is cold.

I like to garnish mine with paprika before serving. I also like to serve it as a sandwich on really soft bread that’s been lightly toasted, add a thin slice of turkey, pork or beef for a lunch treat that will make the co-workers insanely jealous!

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