I LOVE Macaroni & Cheese. I love it so much, that if I ever went on Survivor THAT’S what I would take as my luxury item. I originally said I’d take Lowery’s because I figured you could eat ANYTHING if you just put some Lowery’s on it, but I change my mind. Mac & Cheese would do it. This might be the entire U.S. of A’s favorite dish when you think about how much it is consumed. The issue is that it can be made a million and one different ways! I think this is why I love it so much. Because it changes depending on who makes it. This is why when men say “My Mama makes the best Mac n’Cheese,” I just wave them off and keep it moving. Of course she does. I’ll let her keep that. However, you WILL love my recipe, and you will because it’s different. It’s probably a completely different dish. So when you break it down that way, there’s no need to compare.
What’s awesome is playing with the cheese. In my recipe I keep the base of it the same no matter what type of cheese I’m using. Some people like to add shredded cheese and milk to cooked pasta and hope for the best, I like preparing a Roux. A Roux is a combination of fat and flour to make a sauce base. I typically do equal parts flour and butter. This way I create a cheese sauce which makes the dish SUPER creamy and cheesily delicious!
Again, the biggest issue with the recipe is that I don’t measure. So my “measurements” are going to be in JG* style language.
After I post the recipe I’ll add some substitutions to give you guys ideas to play around with. This is NOT a low-fat, low-calorie dish, which is why I don’t make it very often, but when I start to “let myself go” I’ll be all over it! LOL iKid.
Triple Cheesy Mac n’Cheese
Prep Time: 30 mins Bake Time: 15 mins.
What you’ll need:
- 1 box Elbow Macaroni (I often end up using less than the box, depends)
- 2 C shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1 1/2 C shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese. I often buy the Monterrey Jack/Cheddar Combo bag.
- 1/2 bar softened Cream Cheese (Secret ingredient)
- 3 C milk (depends on how much you’re making)
- 2 1/2 Tbs Flour
- 2 Tbs butter
- Salt & Pepper
- Dash of Sugar
- Pyrex Dish
Preheat oven to 350°.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. You want it to be Al Dente which means it has a little bite to it. So keep an eye out while you work on the sauce. Drain when done and set aside.
In a medium saucepan melt the 2 tablespoons of butter with the 2 1/2 tablespoons of flour, making a roux. You want the flour and butter to completely combine and be smooth. No lumps. Once you’ve made the roux add the milk. Pour slowly and stir constantly with a whisk. You want this to combine with the roux and make your sauce thick. Be careful not to boil or burn your milk while doing this. If you need to bring the heat down below medium that’s fine.
Once you’ve completed that step, add your cheeses. I like to add my cheeses a handful at a time so that I can taste test as I go. I always start with the cream cheese. It takes the longest to melt and blend in. First I cut it into pieces, add, and stir to break down the cheese. Then I add the other cheeses. Keep stirring and it’ll melt down quickly. Also while I’m adding cheese I add salt & pepper to taste and a dash of sugar. My Gran adds sugar and her Mac & Cheese is to die for. You may not use all of the cheese and that’s cool. Save some for the topping.
Now keep an eye out on consistency. It should be really smooth and thick. Hopefully you didn’t use too much butter and so it’s not greasy or grainy. Once you’ve finished the sauce, add to the pasta and combine thoroughly. Pour into a Pyrex dish that you’ve sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs if you’d like. I don’t always like the breadcrumbs but I feel like it helps soak up some of the grease that comes off the cheese. I like to make my own bread crumbs by mashing up Ritz Crackers. AMAZING!
Bake for 15 mins just to allow the cheese on top to melt and brown a little. The pasta is already done, and cheese sauce is all good and done so no need to dry the dish out.
A couple of pictures of some different times I’ve made mac & cheese. Each time is always a little different.
Here’s a slightly creamier picture.
Mac & Cheese goes great with everything! Everything in life!
A few substitutions:
- For kick add some dried mustard or cayenne pepper. Or you could even use Pepper Jack Cheese.
- To get real fancy use Smoked Gouda and Gruyere cheeses. I love love love when I do it this way.
- To turn it into a hearty meal, add some ground turkey or beef, tuna, or chicken.
- To turn it into a fancy hearty meal, add lobster meat!
- Mama BeauTie makes an AMAZING Mac & Cheese and she also uses some velveeta in her sauce. She makes a roux, but the velveeta is her secret ingredient! Awesome.
- Sometimes I add a dash of nutmeg to the noodles after I drain them just to give people that “what IS that I taste?” sensation. Then I don’t tell them. LOL
Sugar Kisses! This will certainly turn heads!