So I made a discovery in Washington last year that totally floats my boat.
You can find it on one of my favorite spice company websites – My Spice Sage. And guess what? Every time you order from My Spice Sage you get to choose a free 1 oz sample of something you’d like to try. How fun is that? They also have another deal going on right now – order 20 dollars worth of spices and you get a free 4 oz package of Fleur De Sel (valued at $9.00)! That kinda floats my boat too. :D
And while we’re on the topic of boat buoyancy let me just say that Macaroni and Cheese practically makes my boat skim over the water.
When we were kids my grandparents would take us to a cafeteria for dinner on occasion. In our little minds it was the biggest thrill to walk down the counter full of the kind of food we rarely ate (Thanks Mom and Dad for not raising us on junk food! ) and get to pick out anything we wanted. I always chose the jello and the mac and cheese. I know I got more, but these two dishes have remained embedded in my memory for some reason. I can still see them served on white plates sitting on the brown plastic trays.
Even since then, mac and cheese has been a favorite of mine. Sigh…I went through a phase of trying not to like it… but I got over it. Especially when I tasted Panera‘s Mac and Cheese made with Vermont white cheddar. Mmmm!
That is what made me want to create something just like it at home. I’m still working on that, but in the mean time, check this out…
Smoky Mac and Cheese with Caramelized Onions
4 T. butter
1 T. brown sugar or coconut sugar
10 oz. of your favorite macaroni pasta
5 c. shredded cheese (reserve two cups for the top!), use a combo of cheddar and smoked Gouda for more smoky goodness.
4 T. cornstarch
2 c. milk
smoked sea salt and pepper to taste
Cut both ends off onions, peel and slice in half. Cut into thin half moon strips, then slice in half again.
Melt butter in skillet, add onions and saute until golden brown and translucent. Toss with sugar and cook to caramelize for a couple more minutes.
Meanwhile, have your water boiling for pasta and cook according to package directions, minus the salt (You want all your saltiness to come from the smoked salt.). I used one of my favorite brands of pasta, Tinkyada.
It’s one of the best gluten free pastas I have ever tried and I like it way better an whole wheat pasta.
Toss three cups of cheese with the corn starch. Place cooked onions in a pot and add milk and cheese. Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted and everything is well combined.
Add cooked pasta, salt and pepper and stir to coat. Spoon into a 9×13 buttered casserole dish, top with remaining cheese and broil in the oven until gold and bubbly.
You can eliminate the last step if you like and just serve it from the pot – whatever floats your boat!