Macaroni and cheese is, for me, the ultimate comfort food.
I’ve been loving the upscale-homestyle cooking trend of the past several years, where every other restaurant chef has a version of macaroni and cheese on the menu. They’re all delicious, some very creative, but really, I can do without truffle oil and exotic cheeses.
I’m happy with just the basics – elbow macaroni (or, okay, cavatappi ;-p) mixed with a sauce of good cheddar cheese, topped with crunchy bread crumbs, and baked until bubbling.
Everyone has a favorite recipe; I’m always tinkering with mine to make sure there’s enough “sauciness” and it doesn’t dry out while baking, but also not too soupy.
This is a pretty good “base” recipe – I add a pinch of dry mustard to the sauce, and a little more paprika to the toasted bread crumbs.
And this is the classic from Fannie Farmer – this also works well, although I never use cream — just add more milk and cheese.
It takes some time to get it just right. And the results are worth the time.
But sometimes I just don’t have the time…or the energy….or the ingredients….
In that sort of emergency situation, I confess: I will resort to Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese.
But even though those days of yore and cocktails are long past…still, whenever I’m feeling maybe a little sick, or really tired, and I want something satisfying to eat but I don’t want to cook – well, it’s just so dang easy to whip up a pot!
Of course, it’s nothing like REAL macaroni and cheese, and it’s frightening to contemplate what makes that cheese powder glow such a neon orange. But it’s incredibly tasty (thanks to the scientists at the Kraft labs ;-p)
And hey, if I add a handful of broccoli florets, it’s practically healthy! 😀
How about you? Do you have a favorite macaroni & cheese recipe?