Did you know that mac and cheese was Thomas Jefferson’s favorite dish? When invited to someone’s house for a visit he always brought some with him as a hostess gift. We can officially thank this founding father for the popularity of this dish.
Restaurants now charge a ton (up to $100) for fancy versions of good ole mac and cheese. When we were in Washington DC last year we bought 2 kinds: one with lobster and one with bacon. The bacon mac was $28 and the lobster mac was $40. Both worth their price for sure but really – it’s just mac and cheese. I guess we can start calling mac and cheese America’s Trendiest Comfort Food.
Instead of paying huge prices how about we make it ourselves? It will taste as good if not better!
The Basic Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Step 1: Boil 8 ounces pasta; drain.
- *These can be made with any pasta. When we say Mac & Cheese you don’t have to use elbow noodles. Feel free to use any smaller “short” pasta that you enjoy. We use shells most of the time.
- Step 2: Make cheese sauce
- stir 2 tablespoons flour into 2 tablespoons melted butter in large saucepan; cook for 1 minute over medium heat.
- stir in 2 cups whole milk until thickened and smooth, 5 minutes.
- remove from heat and stir in 3 cups shredded cheese.
- Step 3: Stir pasta into cheese sauce, then add extras if desired. Makes 4 servings.
How to Upgrade Your Mac and Cheese
- Lobster Penne Mascarpone
- Add Brie (1/4 a round)
- 2 cups lobster meat
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1 cup corn
- Top with panko bread crumbs; broil until browned.
- Butternut Squash Rotini Sharp Cheddar Parmesan
- 2 cups butternut squash puree or carrot puree (use only 1 ½ cups shredded cheese instead of 3 cups)
- Smoky Corizo Radiatore Smoked
- Cheddar 1 cup
- Chopped roasted red peppers
- 12 ounces browned Mexican chorizo
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Top with crushed tortilla chips; bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes
Think outside the box. Mix and match. Find what you love and then make it often and share with friends. Really, the sky is the limit. The most important thing is to enjoy!