Tag: Mac and cheese

Mom’s mac and cheese

Mom’s mac and cheese

My mother never made macaroni and cheese from a box for us, even though that blue box was created back in 1937, before I was born. She always made it from macaroni, milk, cheese and a little flour to thicken it. She also usually included wieners in the mix  and backed it in the over until it was brown and bubbly. So we’ve been making it mac and cheese based on her model ever since.

Mom probably include a bit of onion in her cheese sauce, and we always have. And sometime in the last couple of decades, we started added a little chopped green (and red) peppers to pick the flavor a little. But it still is a quick meal, taking just over half an our from start to finish.

I think she always used elbow macaroni, because all the other cool shapes weren’t yet available. We’ve settled on shell macaroni, but you can use any shape you like. Our latest revision of this recipe uses heavy cream instead of making a bechamel sauce. If you go this route, be sure to NOT use light cream, which will curdle when you bake it.

  • 1 lb macaroni, any shape you like
  • 1 lb wieners
  • 1 sweet green pepper or a mixture of any colors you like, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • Olive oil
  • ½ lb cheddar cheese (or any mixture of cheeses you like), cubed
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
  • Breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚
  2. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni until tender. Avoid stopping at al dente as the pasta will soak up the cheese sauce while baking.

3. While the pasta cooks sauté the onions and peppers in the olive oil until tender,
4. Add the cream and Worcestershire sauce.
5. Stir in the cubed cheese and stir and heat until melted.

6. Slit the wieners lengthwise so they will heat through and lay in a casserole dish.
7. Add the just-cooked macaroni, but don’t over fill the dish.

8. Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
9. Bake 20-25 minutes until the cheese sauce is bubbling and hot.

baked

Serve at once.

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Superior Mac and Cheese with little effort

Superior Mac and Cheese with little effort

This recipe is based on one we have been making  for many years, and was based on one my mother made years ago. We never used boxed mac & cheese because this is so much better and takes not much longer.And the ingredients are very simple!

ingredients

You can use one cheese (say, cheddar) or a mixture of cheese, but you want to avoid much Parmesan or aged Swiss-type cheese like Emmenthaler,  because they are really too salty for the cheese sauce. Probably most important for simplification is that you don’t have to grate the cheeses: just cut them into small cubes. They’ll all melt fine. Some people like to add some American cheese. It doesn’t have a lot of taste, but it does impart some smoothness.

  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
  • ½ cup young Swiss cheese, like Boar’s Head
  • ½ cup any other cheese you like, even American
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper or 1 red  sweet pepper or both, cut up
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb wieners, slit open
  • 1 lb box of macaroni shells
  • Bread crumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Slice the wieners lengthwise so they will heat through, and place them in the bottom of a casserole.

4. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil, and cook the macaroni about a minute past the al dente stage. Make sure the macaroni is fairly well cooked, so it doesn’t absorb the cheese sauce.

5. Drain the macaroni and pour over the wieners in the casserole.

6. Saute the onion and peppers in olive oil in a saucepan until soft.

7. Add the cream and heat slowly. When warm, add the cubed cheese and stir while heating until the cheese is mostly melted in.

8. Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

9. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until bubbly and starting to brown. Serve at once.

bubbling