Just kidding, y'all. I am the harbinger of delicious death. Before you get your panties in a bunch--while they still have room to bunch, that is--don't fret too hard. This meal is so rich and tasty that you'll find it difficult to overindulge. I hadn't eaten all day and I could hardly finish half a serving. No matter! More for later.
The onions entranced me here. Andy and I baked mac and cheese with caramelized onions and bacon last summer with wonderful results. With last night's dinner, I attempted to fill the bacon void by replacing the usual cheddar, mozzarella, etc. with some more exotic cheeses.
|J'aime le fromage. Pictured: asiago, gruyere, edam.|
Before I grated or substituted anything, though, I had to caramelize my onions. I heated two tablespoons of butter and two of olive oil over medium-low heat in my cast-iron skillet. Meanwhile I sliced the onions 1/8 inch thick on my mandoline.
After the butter melted completely, I added all the onions to the skillet. They needed a little stirring to separate, after which I covered the skillet for 30 minutes, lifting the lid every ten minutes to stir again.
(At this point, I preheated my broiler to 500 degrees.)
Once the surface began to distend and belch--attractive, I know--I added the edam, mascarpone, and asiago, stirring it in until the cheeses were just melted and heated through.
I combined the onions and the cheese sauce into the pot with the cooked and drained penne, tossing it all into uniformity. Then I filled my ramekins with the pasta and placed each onto a cookie sheet. Each bowl got a dusting of croutons and gruyere, after which I gathered together every ounce of daintiness, grace, and dexterity I have--this may not be necessary for you--and hoisted the cookie sheet into the oven.
After three minutes I had my a tasty treat, plus my calories for the entire day.
Enjoy the decadence!
Ingredients (adapted from Cake, Batter, and Bowl):
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large yellow onions, sliced (9 cups)
1 pound penne pasta
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
2 cups shredded edam cheese
2 cups shredded asiago cheese
8 ounces mascarpone (or substitute)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups croutons
3 cups shredded gruyere cheese