I’ve been serving you up a lot of macaroni and cheese lately.
But, this one just happens to be my favorite of all. That’s because this is the recipe that I grew up on. In my family, there’s no such thing as too sharp of a cheddar cheese. And we put sharp cheddar on just about everything. So when I’m making a mac & cheese, my ideal is going to be flavored with the sharpest stuff I can find.
And, not to say that I am a cheese connoisseur by any means, but I do have my preferences. I appreciate Wisconsin for having equally brutal winters as us here in New York, and I’ve even been known to root for the Green Bay Packers on occasion, but for me Wisconsin cheddar, or at least the ones I’ve tried, just aren’t sharp enough. That’s why when I make this recipe, I tend to look for the sharpest cheese I can find from either New York or Vermont. This is just a personal preference of mine and you certainly don’t have to have special cheese imported if you don’t live in one of these states. But, if you happen to be searching in your supermarket, and come across something that says “extra” or “seriously” sharp made somewhere around my neck of the woods in New York state, then I’m going to recommend that one for this.
A better name for this might be “Mom’s Famous Mac & Cheese” because that’s exactly what I think of when I dive into this!
Sharp Cheddar and Onion Mac & Cheese
1 lb. macaroni noodles
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 8oz. brick extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven 350F.
Boil pasta in generously-salted water until the pasta is al dente. Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook onions for 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large pan on medium heat. Add flour and stir to create a roux. Add in milk and stir until it becomes slightly thicker and smooth Add cheddar and nutmeg and stir until melted and smooth.
Fold macaroni into the cheese mixture and stir to mix completely. Add the onion and stir to combine. Season to taste. Pour mixture into a greased 8×8 pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and browned on the top.