Apple Cider Caramelized Onion Bacon Mushroom Mac & Cheese

Stirring in the goat cheeseFor the First Annual Mac & Cheese Cookoff Contest at Rabbit’s Foot Meadery on March 30th, I created my own recipe inspired by a restaurant dish I had once plus an online recipe using hard apple cider. The rules were to start with all the ingredients from a box of Kraft brand Mac & Cheese, then go wild! I used my own hard apple Closeup of the final tasty mixcider homebrew for this batch because I’d rather save my Rabbit’s Foot/Red Branch bottles for drinking! :)

I’ve participated as a contestant and a taster for the meadery’s chili cookoffs and soup cookoffs before, but the word was spread wider for this one with over a hundred RSVPs, so Mac & Cheese Cookoff required opening the brewing floor!they opened up the brewing floor with tables to accommodate all the entries, and there was a long tasting line! I’m very glad I made a double-batch to fill my crockpot! My entry for the Mac & Cheese Cookoff - half-eaten already!The one that won 1st place was all out before I got there, so I have no idea how his recipe compared to mine, but we both included bacon. ;) The 2nd and 3rd places were both too spicy for me, but at least I got a respectable number of first place chips in my cup!

Here’s my recipe if you’d like to try it!

Apple Cider Caramelized Onion Bacon Mushroom Mac & Cheese

Add-ins for 1 box of mac & cheese, or any other recipe yielding 4 cups cooked.

Prepare the basic mac & cheese according to the box instructions:
Boil 6 cups water, cook pasta for 7-8 minutes until tender. Drain pasta, then while still hot, stir in 4 Tbsp butter, 1/4 cup milk, and powdered cheese packet until creamy.

Caramelizing red onions with cooked bacon in hard apple cider homebrew1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup hard apple cider

Cook uncovered in a large skillet over medium heat until onions are caramelized and almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from pan and stir in to the prepared mac & cheese.

Sauteeing mushrooms and chopped apples in hard apple cider homebrew1 medium apple, cored & chopped (skin on)
1 1/2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
1/2 cup hard apple cider

Cook uncovered in the same skillet over medium heat until apples are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated but also deglazed the flavor from the onions & bacon. Salt & pepper to taste. Remove from skillet and stir in to the prepared mac & cheese.

Stirring in the goat cheeseAdd 4 oz goat cheese, stirring to melt thoroughly, and enjoy!

I put the double-batch in my crockpot crock but put it covered in the fridge overnight. When I left for work, I put it into the crockpot on low heat so it wouldn’t dry out. When I got home, it was hot & ready to drive it to the contest, and didn’t dry out all evening. I did have about half left, which I enjoyed over the next week…yum!

You can see all my photos of the fun evening in the gallery below. Hope you enjoy making your own embellished mac & cheese!

This entry was posted in Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


5 + = six

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>