Mac and Cheese? Yes, please! Just not from a box. I don’t care if the box is blue, red or otherwise. I want gooey, stretchy, creamy (yes, all in one dish)….you know, the real thing.
AFTER we finally got all the cherries picked, then cleaned and pitted and into the freezer (jam later, yippee yum!), I was ready for some comfort food. I could eat just mac and cheese for dinner, but my husband is not of the same mind. He likes it, but not like I do.
We are fortunate in that we live in an area where there are several groups of Amish. They run a number of businesses in the area, most of which are well worth frequenting. My favorite is the Pine Valley Grocery. They sell mostly bulk foods, which they repack into smaller containers or bags and sell cheaper than the supermarkets. In many cases, I wouldn’t care about the cost because the item is better. The flour for instance. I never want a little paper bag of flour again. Spices – the cinnamon is always very fresh. They also carry some refrigerated goods, including fresh eggs and cheese. They actually have a number of varieties of cheeses, including smoked hot pepper jack cheese. Oh, this is so good added to soups it is worth the trip just for that. Unfortunately, when I made this mac and cheese, I hadn’t been to that store recently, thus did not have some of those cheeses. And, as is made obvious by the photo, I was also out of elbow macaroni. Oh, well.
This is just ONE version, a somewhat easier one than starting with making a white sauce, but very good. I served a huge batch of this to a large group of people and everyone liked it, adults AND kids. I like to use different cheeses in this. Pepper jack adds a nice kick. Smoked cheeses are also excellent, but keep in mind they typically don’t melt, just very soft and gooey. I love that, a big chunk of smokey soft goodness. Add cayenne pepper, tabasco, whatever works for you.
- 1 pound uncooked macaroni (I like elbows best for this)
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, very soft or melted
- ½ jar Ragu Double Cheddar or Four Cheese sauce OR 1 can condensed cheese soup (I like the cheese sauce for this)
- 2 12 ounce cans evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste as the cheese is salty)
- 1 Tablespoon white or black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon dry mustard
- ½ pound of shredded monterey jack cheese
- ½ pound shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ pound shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheese for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Shred cheeses if necessary. Butter a 9 x 13 pan or a very large casserole dish.
- Cook pasta as directed on package in a large pot of boiling, salted water, until al dente/still firm to the bite. Drain.
- While pasta is cooking, beat eggs, then whisk in sour cream, butter, evaporated milk, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir in all of the cheeses except the 1 cup reserved for the top.
- Stir in the drained pasta and pour into buttered casserole. Sprinkle top with reserved shredded cheese.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until top is browning around the edges.