02 October 2012

Macaroni & cheese

When I left home, I didn't know how to cook. My mom is an excellent cook, and she didn't feel it necessary to teach her kids to cook. But when I left home, she gave me a copy of The Joy of Cooking (the old version, not the re-published travesty). I still love that book. How many cookbooks do you own that describe (with drawings) how to skin and cook a squirrel?

The Joy

The first recipe in that book that I ever cooked by myself comes from page 186, Baked Macaroni. It was a classic when I was a child, and it's a classic for my child. And it's an amazing side dish next to a smoked brisket.

We've modified it over the years, simplifying the seasoning, and dialing up the cheese.
4 cups macaroni
4 cups grated cheese (as many kinds as you have in your fridge, but primarily cheddar)
4 eggs
2 ¾ cup milk
1 ½ tsp salt
Throw the macaroni in boiling water and boil until al dente. Butter a large casserole dish and pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with just enough noodles to make the bottom disappear, then layer on a layer of cheese. I particularly like a mixture of any blue cheese, cheddar and parmesan. Use enough cheese to cover the noodles and make them disappear.

Assembling mac and cheese

Repeat, layer after layer, ending with a layer of cheese.

Assembling mac and cheese

Meanwhile, beat the eggs until foamy. Mix with milk and salt until the salt dissolves. Pour that mix over top of the macaroni. Cover the casserole and place in the hot oven. Bake for 45 minutes, until cheese is melted, and the egg mixture has firmed up a bit (it won't firm entirely until it cools a fair amount).

Assembling mac and cheese

Serve, classically with sausage and a veggie, or southernly next to a brisket.

Macaroni and cheese


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

make it in the biggest pot you have!

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