I love Mac and Cheese and can’t believe that in all my posts I have never given out a Mac and Cheese recipe. Today I remedy that. It started earlier today when my wife requested something grilled for dinner. I had been craving pasta but seeing as she wanted something grilled I decided that I had a taste for steak. I originally thought I would do a Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese to go along with the steaks, but soon decided against it. Instead I decided that I wanted mushrooms and thought that they would make a great addition to a Mac and Cheese and so, while at the store I came up with this simple, yet tasty dish. It makes a great accompaniment to steak, but is also hearty enough to be served alone, as a main course.

A couple of things that will really make this recipe; first use a variety of mushrooms, at least 2-3 different kinds. I chose to use both cremini and shiitake mushrooms. For your cheese, you want something that will stand up to your mushrooms but not over power them. I went with a mix of mozzarella and provolone. Adding in a bit of Swiss or Gruyere would also work as would many other cheeses. For this preparation though I would stay away from cheddar. While it wouldn’t be a bad combination I just think there are many other cheeses out there that would work better.

Mushroom Mac and Cheese
serves 6-8 as a side dish or 4 as a main course

2 Tbl. Vegetable Oil
1/2 Onion, peeled and sliced
12 oz. Mushrooms, stemmed if needed and sliced
3 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 pound Macaroni
4 Tbl. Butter
1/3 cup Flour
2 cups Whole milk
1/2 tsp. Dry Mustard
1 Egg, beaten
2 cups Cheese
1 can Fried Onion Rings

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, over medium high heat, sauté the onions, in the oil, until starting to caramelize; about 8-10 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the mushrooms. Season and saute until they have cooked down and are starting to brown.

Remove from the heat and add the garlic. The residual heat will cook it without burning it, as long as you continue to stir it occasionally. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in plenty of salted, boiling water. Under cook the pasta just slightly as you will be cooking it again in the oven. In a large pot melt the butter. Add the flour to make a roux and cook for 2 minutes. Add the milk, whisking constantly to ensure no lumps. Once the sauce comes up to a boil and thickens add the dry mustard and the mushroom mixture. Add about 1/3 cup of the sauce to the egg to temper it, stirring it in completely. Then add the egg mixture to the pot of sauce. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese. Once melted, add in the cooked and drained macaroni, season, to taste, with salt and pepper and pour into a greased casserole dish. Top with the fried onion rings and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until hot and bubbly.

Allow to rest for 5 minutes then serve.
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