Brown Butter and Caramelized Onion Mac & Cheese




Serves 6 as Entree, 8 as a Side Dish

Caramelized Onions
2 Tbsp Butter
½ Tbsp Canola Oil
2 Gills Yellow Onions, julienned

Mac & Cheese
Water, as needed
Salt, as needed
16 Ounces medium Pasta (Medium Shells)
3 Tbsp Butter
½ Tbsp Ground Mustard
3 Tbsp Flour
½ Tbsp ground mustard
2 Cups Half&Half
2 Cups Heavy Cream
7 Cups Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, grated and divided
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
7 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
Sea Salt, to taste
Coarse Black Pepper, to taste
1 ½ Cups Bread Crumbs
½ Cup Asiago
3 Tbsp chopped Parsley, chopped
4 Tbsp Browned Butter, melted


1. Preheat the oven to 350° F, and grease a baking dish or cast-iron skillet. Set aside.
2. For the Caramelized Onions: In a wide, heavy-bottomed pan or cast-iron skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add enough onions to cover the pan, and sautée. As the onions soften, continue adding them in phases until they are sweating evenly.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until golden brown, stirring constantly to prevent burned bits for about 45 to 60 minutes. Set aside.
4. For the Mac & Cheese: Add water to a large stockpot, bring to a boil, and salt liberally. Once boiling, add the pasta, boil for 6 minutes, drain, and set aside.
5. In a medium sauce pot, heat 3 Tbsp of butter over medium heat.
6. Whisk in the flour and ground mustard until well combined. Cook for about a minute with continuous whisking.
7. Slowly pour in the half and half, while whisking, until smooth. Continue whisking constantly, and pour in the heavy cream until combined and smoothed.
8. Continue cooking the sauce until the consistency is thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat if needed.
9. Remove from the heat, and stir in the spices paprika, garlic powder and one-quarter of the cheese, stirring to melt and combine. When well mixed, stir in another quarter of the cheese, and stir until smooth and completely melted. Add salt and pepper. to taste.
10. In a large mixing bowl, combine the drained pasta, caramelized onions and cheese sauce. Stir to fully combine. Pour half of the mac mixture into the prepared baking dish, and top with half of the remaining cheese. Pour the remaining mac mixture over the layer of cheese, and top with the remaining cheese. Set aside.
11. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Asiago, parsley, and, brown butter and salt to taste. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the macaroni and cheese evenly.
12. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Allow to stand, and serve hot.