Macaroni and Cheese
I love macaroni and cheese. When I was growing up, I often had home-made baked macaroni and cheese at potluck dinners at church and the box mixes never ever matched up; not even Annie’s or Velveeta. However, my home never made baked macaroni and cheese; it was nothing but the yellow-orange generic boxes. Blech. About six years ago I got the urge to experiment with making baked macaroni and cheese. I consulted a few recipes to get an idea of what to put in and eventually concocted my own recipe. The following is my basic recipe. I often make changes according to what I have in my stores: sometimes I add Meunster cheese, other times Gruyere, sometimes Mozzarella. But I always have cheddar in there! And I never ever use American. I’ve never cared for American cheese.
I don’t have pictures, but I should soon. This post has been inspired by the first batch of my recipe in about 3 years.
Little Bee’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup milk
1 to 1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese (I prefer white sharp)
(any other cheeses you wish to add)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 lb. cooked and drained elbow macaroni (or shells)
(a little butter or olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking together before I mix in the cheese)
crushed saltines or breadcrumbs for the top
Cook the pasta to al dente, then drain. Place the cheese, half and half, milk, and spices in a small sauce pan. Cook at low heat until the cheese is fully melted. The cheese will completely melt and blend with the mixture. Add the cheese mixture to the cooked pasta and then transfer to a baking dish and place in an oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until the top is nicely browned, about 30 minutes.
EDIT: I posted the recipe right after I put it in the oven. I didn’t remember that I never perfected the recipe. It’s a bit dry with the current measurements. I’ll play with it and post a revised recipe eventually.