Sunday, July 31, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese (The BEST ever recipe)

THE Best Macaroni and Cheese recipe EVER and I’ve tried a ton of them, including every recipe published in the Southern Living magazine for several years running … all failed and most were dumped in trash can ...literally!  But this one … OMG this Macaroni and Cheese is to die for.  Great quality cheese is a must!!!  This recipe is from one of my very best friend’s, Tracy Reider, who is an amazing cook!

2 cups Elbow Macaroni
3 Tbsp Butter
2 to 2-1/2 Tbsp Flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
2-1/2 cups Whole Milk (I use 1/2 Whole Milk and ½ Half-n-Half)
1 cup (8 oz) Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated 
1 cup (8 oz) Yellow American Cheese, grated (from Deli not pre-packaged)

Cook macaroni and set aside.  On burner set to medium, melt butter, flour and salt and pepper to make a roux.  Slowly stir in the milk until well blended.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Stir in the macaroni.  Pour into a greased casserole dish.  The mixture should be soupy.  If not, add more milk or half-n-half, as needed.  Optional: Mix a half cup of shredded cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Helpful Hint: To easily grate the cheeses, freeze for about 30 minutes or so prior to grating.  

NOTE ABOUT CHEESE: Don't try to 'measure' your cheese AFTER grating it ... if you bought an 8 ounce package then that is ONE CUP ... it will look like a lot more after it is grated but that is the right amount!  Also, when buying the Yellow American Cheese from the Deli ... I get them to cut it in one big hunk (8 ounces/1 cup = half a pound).

Update (Oct 28, 2012): I continue to get rave reviews on this Mac n Cheese recipe and I CANNOT emphasize enough the importance of making it just as I do ... with top notch ingredients ... DO NOT skimp or cheap out.  The brand of 'Sharp Cheddar Cheese' I use is Cracker Barrel ~ Natural Sharp Cheddar Cheese and the brand of 'Yellow American Cheese' I use is either Boar's Head or Land o Lakes from the deli ... cut into a hunk and not sliced ... I grate them myself!!!  I also only ever use Whole Milk and Half n Half ... never the low fat or skim milk stuff.  YES its fattening but its not like you eat it all the time!  If you want it like mine you must use the GOOD cheeses.

A couple times I made it using fresh farm made 7 year Sharp Cheddar that Scott brought home from Wisconsin ... NOW that was awesome!!!

Another great thing about this recipe ~ I've made a half a recipe and have also doubled it and get great results every time!