Macaroni and Cheese, Please!

There is no more perfect meal than macaroni and cheese.  And I don't mean from out of the box (although Annie's isn't too bad).  Thick, rich, and cheesy, I think this is one of the best cold-weather foods around.  My favorite, found by my mom while watching the Food Network back in 2001 (the date is on the Internet printout), is still found online (here):

Chat n' Chew Macaroni and Cheese

1/2 pound butter, plus extra for the baking dish
1 1/4 pounds elbow macaroni
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 small (1/4 to 1/3 pound) onion, diced small (about 1/2 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup flour
5 cups (1 1/4 pounds) shredded sharp cheddar
8 slices American cheese, broken into small pieces
2 cups (1/2 pound) grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons green hot chile sauce1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9 by 13 by 4-inch baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the macaroni until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

In a small bowl, combine the cream and milk. (I just pour them in the same measuring cup.)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the 1/2 pound of butter and cook the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the flour, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Add the cream mixture in a steady stream and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in 4 cups of the cheddar, the American cheese, 1 cup of the grated Parmesan, the hot pepper sauce, and cumin. Stir until all the cheese has melted; the sauce will be very thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the pasta. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining Cheddar, then the Parmesan, and finally the bread crumbs.

Bake uncovered on the middle shelf for about 20 minutes, until bubbling and brown on top.


Now let me tell you, friends, this makes a ginormous amount of macaroni and cheese.  Enough for a large family party.  I am the only person in my house that likes mac and cheese at the moment (nope, not even Gus), so when I want it, I make an 1/8 recipe (halved, then halved again, then halved again).

My copy, with the Post-It divided measurements

As you can see, I don't stick to the recipe.  I don't usually have cream so I use half and half, skim milk, onion powder, and cheaters garlic.  FYI- if you can, use really good cheddar.  It comes out less oily.  This one was NOT really good.

The finished product- 1/8 of the recipe in an 8-inch "round" pan.

And I have lots of leftovers!

2 comments

  1. I'd probably substitute the cream anyways-- love the cumin in there and I bet that touch of American cheese makes it creamy. This sounds like a recipe for Neighborhood potluck. It sounds fabulous. I'm worried about your family though.........nobody likes mac 'n cheese? what? are they nuts?

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  2. i cannot show this to my husband, he will literally try to eat my computer...

    -rachel w k
    rwkrafts.blogspot.com

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