"Cows are my passion. What I have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a farm and live entirely surrounded by cows–and china."

Charles Dickens

January 8, 2012

Old-Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese ~ Creamy, Rich, Easy !

The reason this mac and cheese appealed so much, apart from the obvious creamy cheesy factor, is that it reminded me of the baked macaroni dishes that were brought to church suppers in Akron (and that my grandparents' cook used to make, too).








A dear friend and I are always seeking the "perfect" recipe of something. This same friend and I used to spend hours on the beach reading cookbooks together, comparing recipes, while her grandsons and my boys played happily near the water. [LINDA! I miss you!]

Friends, I have found, after many years of looking, the perfect mac and cheese recipe. Yes, on the back of a box of Mueller's® (that I got for 35 cents a box at a local discount food place––I love discount food places). Naturally, I stocked up on pasta boxes. I like Mueller's® and remember it, along with Creamette®, from childhood. I suppose they are good American pasta mainstays (although in recent years I've preferred several Italian brands). My next task will be to try this with different kinds of gluten-free pastas (as wheat is not something I'm supposed to have very often).

I photographed the recipe as it appeared on the box because it is as I made it, except:

  • I doubled it (and used 16 oz of small elbows);
  • I used real butter in the roux;
  • I used a heaping teaspoon of dried mustard (this gives it a nice snap);
  • I mixed up my cheese into a blend of sharp cheddar and milder Colby-American type mix;
  • I used buttered bread crumbs for the topping.

My youngest son, who is always shoving boxes of Annie's® at me (especially on the occasional fish or seafood night), even approves. I also judged this recipe based on its reheat value: it is just as creamy as the first time, especially when you infuse it with a bit of milk or cream and a few little pats of butter.

The ultimate comfort food! Diets be dashed!

You come back when you're ready! 

Catherine

5 comments:

  1. I dream of mac and cheese on cold winter nights. Hmmm...maybe that's part of my problem!

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  2. That's the recipe we grew up with. Still my favorite!

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  3. I am a Velveeta freak (yes, it's true). Back in the day when you could only get Velveeta or processed cheese slices in the grocery, or, if you were one of the people who got "commodities" (we weren't but had donors who were) with that wonderful cheese, we had to use Velveeta. Here is a recipe I got from the Danville paper several years ago and it is a winner!



    MACARONI AND CHEESE
    Danville Advocate-Messenger

    6 C. water 1 3/4 C. diced Velveeta cheese
    1 3/4 C. macaroni 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
    2 1/2 C. milk 2 tsp. butter
    2 eggs, beaten 1/8 tsp. black pepper
    1/2 tsp. salt butter

    Bring water to boil in medium saucepan. Pour in macaroni. Boil 3 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for a few minutes. Drain off water. Add milk to macaroni. Stir in 2 beaten eggs and salt. Stir in Velveeta and Cheddar cheeses. Pour into casserole dish and dot with butter. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake at 400° F for 30-40 minutes.

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  4. Dang it, all the ingredients ran together. Again:
    6 C. water
    1 3/4 C. macaroni
    2 1/2 C. milk
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 3/4 C. diced Velveeta cheese
    1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
    2 tsp. butter
    1/8 tsp. black pepper

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  5. Joberta, I loved Velveeta as a kid but now it gives me a headache if I chomp on it "raw." However, that said, there are many cheese blends out there that seem to match its creaminess. And somewhere I have a wonderful mac&cheese recipe (from THE TASHA TUDOR COOKBOOK) that uses Velveeta, too! Thanks for this one. And hey, it's nice to know there's a cheese product in the world that does not require refrigeration! Always good in case of apocalypse. HAH!

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