Mac N Cheese, Again

17 Nov



We did a post on Mac N Cheese in March and we’re doing it again because it’s a crucial part of the Thanksgiving meal.  What makes Mac N Cheese gooey goodness? THE CHEESE!!!  Concentrate on the types and amounts of cheese you are using.  I love lots and lots of cheese.  I hate to eat Mac N Cheese and taste only noodle.  Yeah. One uses noodles, but that is not the point.

There are several ways one can make Mac N Cheese, but let’s keep this one simple.

Suggestions: Buy the blocks of cheese versus the bags of shredded cheese. Bagged shredded cheese tends to lack the natural oils of the cheese that make it so gooey and flavorful. This is why it doesn’t melt quite the same in the oven.   Butter instead of margarine (I had to use spell check for margarine.  That shows how often I use it.)  Margarine is made of hydrogenated oils and has vastly improved over the years, but I prefer the taste and way butter melts over margarine.

Ingredients

1 block of Monterey Jack Cheese

1 block of Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1 block of Mild Cheddar Cheese

1 pack of Muenster Cheese (typically cannot find a block, so buy the sliced pack)

1 pound of elbow Macaroni Noodles

2 cups of Heavy Whipping Cream (in the dairy section)

Salt (1/2 teaspoon.  Don’t need much.  Cheese is salty)

Black Pepper to taste (typically when it is speckled throughout the milk mixture)

6 tbspns of butter (Paula Deenish, maybe?)

Long Shallow Baking Dish

Advice: I use timers while I cook.  Certain items are extremely time sensitive and because I am forgetful, I will overcook the macaroni.  No bueno.  There is a timer on your microwave and possibly on your stove.  When I have to heat milk or a similar product, I butter the pot and make sure I keep the heat low to medium.  Takes more time, but you don’t scorch the pot and burn the milk.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Shred all cheese first, even amounts of the Sharp, Monterey, and Mild.  For the Muenster, tear the whole pack into strips or squares.  Mix them up. Boil the Macaroni as directed on the bag for Al Dente.  The noodles will soften more as they bake with the remaining ingredients.  While Macaroni is boiling, heat over a low-medium fire the heavy whipping cream, eggs, salt, black pepper¸ and 1 cup of your cheese.  Whisk to make sure it’s smooth (you can do this with a fork).  Check the Macaroni.  If done, drain and while hot toss the macaroni and 6 tablespoons of butter in the baking dish.  Make sure the noodles are coated with butter, not drowning.  All the cheese should be melted by now.  Once done buttering the noodles, pour the milk and cheese mixture over noodles.  You can add more cheese, if, you’d like and blend well.  Usually, this mixture fills half the dish.  Coat the top of the noodles with cheese.  My rule of thumb is not being able to see noodle.  Cover dish with foil and cook in oven for about 25 min.  Then, uncover and allow cheese to brown. I look for the brown around the edges to know it is done, about 20 minutes.  Ahhhhh…I love that part.

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