Man, the amount of mac ‘n cheese I make in my household might be embarassing. I am simply OBSESSED with the dish. It is the perfect comfort food — carby, rich, and totally sinful. I mean, you know it’s bad for you but you just don’t care because it’s that good.
Yeah, I made yet another amazing version of mac ‘n cheese again — this time it was a caramelized onion, garlic and green pea mac n cheese. Ugh, drool.
It was another one of those instances where cheddar cheese was on sale and my roommate’s jug of skim milk was expiring. Sigh, I just love it when I get free groceries. Anyways, I was not in the mood to buy extra ingredients and the fact that I just can’t have a PLAIN mac ‘n cheese, I scoured my fridge and freezer for inspiration. Onions, garlic and green peas. Done. Decision made. That’s exactly what it was going to be.
Somebody once told me that you can’t make a good mac ‘n cheese with skim milk and I am here to prove that person wrong. You absolutely CAN because I have achieved that with this recipe. Heck, I’ve even made it with soy milk, almond milk and it still turns out perfectly. But let’s be real — how can you possibly fuck up mac ‘n cheese? Easy, you can’t.
Now, I had expiring cheddar cheese (again) so I really used a ton of cheese in this recipe but you can get away with using half the amount (which is what I would usually do anyways). Or maybe I doubled up on the cheese to compensate for the skim milk? Kidding! I heart cheese.
Anyways, this combination worked really well. Tons of garlic flavour since the cheddar I was using was mild and then you get a hit of sweetness from the caramelized onions and green peas. If you find it needs a kick, then add a dollop of gochujang in there — it’s my favourite add-on to mac ‘n cheese.
Caramelized onion, garlic and green pea mac ‘n cheese
What you’ll need:
– 1 (375g) pkg whole wheat macaroni
– 1 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
– 3 small onions, sliced
– 6 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
– 1/4 cup butter
– 1/4 cup all purpose flour
– 4 cups skim milk
– 5 cups mild cheddar cheese, grated
– 2 tsps Dijon mustard
– Salt and pepper, to taste
What you’ll need to do:
1. In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook your macaroni according to packaged directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt your ghee or vegetable oil until it becomes hot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sweat it out, sauteeing in the pan for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Drop the heat to low and let it slowly caramelize for 20 minutes. It should be a nice, dark brown when finished. Add the green peas until everything is all warmed through.
3. In the meantime, make your sauce. Melt your butter in a small pot over medium-high heat. When it has completely melted, add your flour in and whisk until it forms a paste.
4. Slowly add in your milk. Just add a little bit of milk at a time, I would say a 1/2 cup during each increment and whisk until the mixture thickens. Add more milk, whisk, let it thicken. Continue until it is at the desired consistency. I would add the salt and pepper here to season as well as the mustard.
5. Turn off the heat and fold in the cheese until it has all melted and it is well incorporated.
6. Mix the macaroni, onions, garlic, green peas and the cheddar sauce and pour into a casserole dish. Makes 6-8 servings.