Saturday, January 29, 2011
My Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese
This dish was inspired by a couple other recipes, one from Paula Deen and another posted on Food Network by Ed Wilson. I have played around with the ingredients and am posting my version here. Many recipes call for a white sauce as a base with cheese. However, this recipe does not require that, making it much quicker to put together. If you really want it creamy, you can use part Velveeta (or other processed cheeses). However, I prefer to use at least mostly other less-processed cheeses. Besides, the sour cream and evaporated milk help give it a creaminess. Paula's recipe calls for many different types of cheeses- most I do not have on hand. So for this time baking it, I used muenster cheese and sharp cheddar. Feel free to use whatever combination you like. This is not a diet-food, but it certainly is one of the ultimate American comfort foods.
If your kids don't like greens or other vegetables, hiding them in this casserole usually helps it slide down a little easier.
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 extra large eggs, or 3 medium-large eggs
1 1/4 cups evaporated milk
2 cups of cheese (or more, if desired), whatever combination of cheeses
1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons), melted
1/2 tsp salt (I prefer Adobo all purpose seasoned salt)- see note below
1 tsp dry ground mustard
1/2 cup sour cream
bread crumbs for topping, if desired
butter to moisten bread crumbs, if desired
Cook macaroni as per instructions on package- just until al dente approximately 8-10 minutes (firm when biting them). In a large bowl, mix together eggs, evaporated milk, sour cream, salt, pepper and mustard. Stir in 3/4 of cheese and drained pasta. Add melted butter and remainder of cheese. Mix well and pour into an 8x8 inch greased baking dish (may use nonstick spray). Top with bread crumbs and moisten with butter or butter flavored spray, if desired. If not using bread crumbs, top with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and sprinkle paprika on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and let set for approximately 5 minutes then serve.
This also great over the next few days as leftovers- sprinkle with a little water and put in the microwave for about 1 1/2-2 minutes (depending on power of microwave). Stir and then heat more, if needed.
* Note- you may need to add more salt to the dish if you are using unsalted butter or cheeses lower in salt. One might even use 1 tsp of salt with good results.