For the past couple years, the women in my family have worked ourselves silly preparing and cleaning up after Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals. This year we declared from the get-go that we weren't doing it this time, we wanted easy, good food, and we wanted to have time to sit, visit, and play with the baby.
For Christmas Eve, we decided to do a casserole and my mother in law put me in charge of finding a good recipe. You know I can always count on the Pioneer Woman to drop a recipe of such mouth-watering proportions that I have to make it right.now and this time she did not disappoint. As soon as I saw her post about Fancy Macaroni go up, I knew I'd found my Christmas Eve casserole.
It was so wonderfully good, the sauteed onions and all the yummy cheese, not to mention BACON, made this one spectacular dish. Below is the Ree's recipe exactly as she posted, with notes for my slight adjustments.
Source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks!
4 cups Macaroni
8 Tablespoons Butter
2 whole Medium Onions, Cut In Half And Sliced Thin
10 slices Regular Bacon
1 Tablespoon Bacon Grease (reserved From Bacon Slices)
¼ cups All-purpose Flour
2 cups Whole Or 2% Milk
½ cups Half & Half
2 whole Egg Yolks, Beaten
Salt & Pepper (to Taste)
½ cups Grated Gruyere Cheese
½ cups Grated Fontina Cheese (I used Butterkase because I couldn't find any Fontina)
½ cups Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
4 ounces, weight Chevre (soft Goat Cheese)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook macaroni for half the time of the package instructions. Drain and set aside. (I also rinsed the noodles with cold water so they wouldn't stick together)
Fry bacon until slightly, but not overly, crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Reserve grease.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet and saute onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and soft. Set aside. (besides sauteeing the onions in the same skillet I'd cooked the bacon, I added the reserved bacon grease to the butter)
In a pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 1 minute. Pour in milk and half & half, then cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick. Reduce heat to low. Add salt & pepper to taste. (Do not undersalt!)
Beat egg yolks and drizzle 1/4 cup hot mixture into the yolks, stirring constantly. Stir to combine. Pour egg mixture into sauce and cook for another minute.
Add cheeses and stir until melted. Add onions and bacon and stir. Taste for seasonings and add more salt if needed. Add cooked macaroni and stir to coat.
Pour into a baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until sizzling and hot.
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