If comfort could be summed up in a dish, that dish would be macaroni and cheese. Pasta and cheese, yes please. It’s a dish that brings back memories of family dinners; my Mom and then Step- father at the dinner table with my sister and I exchanging thoughts and laughter. The dinner table was the “Switzerland” in my house growing up. We could bicker and argue everywhere else (and did) but the dinner table was off limits. Need peace add food to the mix! Who can fight when there is great food to be eaten. Perhaps that is why there are emotional eaters … food often equates to happiness or peace. I am totally guilty of it.
Ok, I am getting off tangent. Back to the Macaroni and Cheese. This is my Mom’s recipe with some tweaks by me. A recipe is just a guideline after all. My Mom’s Mac is a baked custardy mac and cheese. We did and do not eat the Kraft Easy Mac (no offense to Kraft) in my house. Artificial cheese does not comfort me. The real deal Holyfield does!
A good Mac and Cheese for me is simple; should be moist, seasoned, and cheesey … the more cheese “DA BETTA”. Also use good cheese, my favorite cheese is Cabot. The flavor does not go away once melted, if you have ever used sub par cheese then you know what I am talking about don’t you. I see you shaking your head. Another thing about cheese add varieties; don’t stop at one add more to the mix. There is no right or wrong.
Tip from my Momma: Leave some of the pasta water.I just learned this tip and it works! Don’t leave all of it, I say pour out about half of it. Should be somewhat below the pasta line. More pasta than water. I should have taken a photo of it to illustrate yet I didn’t. *slaps hand* BAD FOOD BLOGGER.
I hope everyone is having a good start to their 2012. I want to know, What is your comfort food?
Until Next Time,
Macaroni and Cheese
A Licious Food Original
1/2 pound of elbow macaroni, boiled as directed on the package
5 ounces (half a container) of Kraft Philadelphia Cooking Sauces Original Flavor*
4 ounces Cabot (half a block) Seriously Sharp Cheese, sliced
4 ounces Cabot (half a block) Sharp Cheese, sliced
4 ounces Gouda (I used Borden’s Gouda Cheese), sliced
1/2 stick of margarine or butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
In a large pot boil macaroni as directed on the back of the box. Drain at least half amount of the pasta water. Just a heads up, I use the large pot as my mixing bowl. Add cooking sauce and stir. Add cheese, one type of cheese at a time and stir. Add margarine/butter, stir and allow it to melt from the heat of the noodles (if your noodles have cooled simply melt the margarine/butter in the microwave.) Lastly, add the lightly beaten eggs to the pasta/cheese mixture and stir until incorporated.
Pour mixture into a casserole dish, a 2 or 3 quart casserole dish should suffice. The mixture should have some room to bubble. Another Momma Tip: Use a circular casserole dish if possible to avoid crispy edges and an overall even baking.
Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes, the macaroni and cheese should be bubbling hot and slightly browned.
*NOTE: No Kraft Philadelphia Cooking sauce, substitute with either a cheese sauce or a can of evaporated milk. If substituting with milk be sure to add more cheese to compensate.*