what could possibly be a better winter comfort dish then a melty, cheesy plate of mac & cheese? rhetorical question, there isn't one. i used my favourite alton brown recipe & kicked it up a notch by adding some caramelized onions + gouda cheese. if you want to kick it up one more notch, use smoked gouda! i highly suggest using a stinky, old, aged cheddar for the flavour it brings. i have had too many mac & cheeses in my life time that have been bland. when you are going to indulge in something this rich, it better be worth it! my favourite part of mac & cheese is the bread crumb topping/crispy cheese. so add as much of the topping as you want.. sometimes i double it because, well duh, for obvious reasons.


for the caramelized onions

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • salt & pepper

for the mac & cheese

  • 1 bag of pasta
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 2 cups gouda or smoked gouda, grated
  • salt & pepper, too taste

for the topping

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter


for the caramelized onions

  • in a sauce pan over low heat add butter & garlic. once butter is melted add onions, salt & pepper. cook until onions begin to turn a caramel colour, about 30 minutes. set aside.

for the mac & cheese

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente (use package time).
  • in a separate pot over medium heat add the butter, flour & mustard powder. stir constantly & cook until a lump free roux forms, about 5 minutes.
  • add the whole milk & bay leaf. simmer for ten minutes.
  • remove bay leaf & temper in the egg, followed by the grated cheese. reserve a half cup cheese to sprinkle on top.
  • toast breadcrumbs & butter in a separate sauce pan.
  • add the strained, cooked pasta to the pot & stir. if the pot is not oven safe, transfer to a casserole dish.
  • top with breadcrumbs & remaining grated cheese.
  • bake for 30 minutes.