Caramelized Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Mac n Cheese

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This sinfully rich Mac ’n’ Cheese is packed with decadent caramelized onions and the classic New Orleans “holy trinity”: onions, celery and pepper. If you like a kick, don’t forget the Louisiana-style hot sauce.

YIELD: 12

INGREDIENTS

Caramelized Onions:
8 Spanish yellow onions (4 lbs)
1/4 cup butter (2 ounces)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Cheese Sauce:
2/3 cup butter (5.3 ounces)
6 ribs celery, finely chopped (12 ounces)
2 red peppers, finely chopped (18 ounces)
1 Spanish yellow Idaho-Eastern Oregon onion, finely chopped (8 ounces)
6 cloves garlic, minced (1 ounce)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (3.3 ounces)
10 cups 2% milk
2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Crunchy Topping:
4 cups panko breadcrumbs (8 ounces)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup butter, melted (8 ounces)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Assembly:
6 cups shredded sharp aged Cheddar cheese (1.5 lb)
4 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (3 ounces)
To taste Louisiana-style hot sauce
18 cups cooked elbow macaroni (4.5 lb)

METHOD
Caramelized Onions: Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed pan set over medium low heat. Cook onions, stirring often, for 60 to 75 minutes or until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.

Cheese Sauce: Melt butter in a large pan set over medium heat. Add celery, onion, red pepper, garlic, salt and pepper; cook until soft. Sprinkle flour over top. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the milk until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat. Whisk in Dijon mustard.

Crunchy Topping: Toss breadcrumbs with Parmesan cheese, melted butter, salt and pepper.

1 order: Stir 1 cup Cheese Sauce with 1/2 cup (2 ounces) Cheddar cheese, 1/3 cup sour cream, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 1 tbsp (.25 ounces) Parmesan cheese, and hot sauce together until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) cooked macaroni.

Layer pasta with 1/3 cup (2 ounces) caramelized onions into a greased 2 cup baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup (2 ounces) Crunchy Topping. Bake at 425F for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.