My favorite blogger, Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff (click her link to get her recipe on Brazilian Black Bean Soup), once said that she was scared away from using the internet as a recipe source due to the dismal macaroni and cheese recipes she found on the internet. At the risk of Karen thinking my mac n’ cheese recipe is also dismal, I am going to post the recipe anyway. Mainly because I have a potluck to go to at my kid’s daycare, and who (besides my very weird husband & child) doesn’t like macaroni & cheese? There is still time for my child to develop the love of this high class pasta dish – he is, after all, my child too;) As for my husband, perhaps if I threw in a can of jalapenos and a jar of hot sauce he might reconsider. As you can guess, he likes anything that burns the taste buds right off his tongue.
Anyway, on to the recipe (I also apologize to Karen (as if she’s even reading this) for my horrific picture taking abilities – please don’t judge the recipe based on my badly taken pictures).
And, for those who are familiar with this blog, we all know how I cook – not with measurements but by taste. I’ll do my best to give you measurements when I can, I just get in the zone and start dumping stuff in willy nilly:
- elbow macaroni pasta (duh)
- 1 tub of whipped cream cheese
- 1 tub or bag of parmesan cheese
- shredded cheeses (a bag mix of Italian cheeses works great) – I used a bag of shredded parmesan and a bag of mixed Italian cheese
- pretty much any other kind of cheese that you love – I’ve used blue cheese, pepper jack…shredded or crumbled
- 1 can of evaporated milk (keeps it from curdling & from clumping together)
- 1 T worcesteshire sauce
- nutmeg (3 shakes each – you’ll see)
- 1 T sherry
- 1 jar of alfredo sauce (optional – I’ve actually never made it with this ingredient before but saw it in my cupboard and thought, ‘what the heck, the creamier the better’)
- 1/2 stick of butter
- french fried onions
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- truffle salt (technically, this is optional, but seriously it makes it sooooo good)
WHAT YOU DO:
- Start a pot of water to boil with a dollop of olive oil. Once boiling, dump in your elbow macaroni and give it a stir once in awhile. Follow the directions on the packaging.
- While macaroni is cooking, melt the butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan (or even better in a double boiler). Start sprinkling your shredded cheeses into the butter, give it a little stir. Then slowly start adding the evaporated milk, stir. Add a little more cheese, stir. Milk, stir…until all the cheese and milk has been added and the cheese is nicely melted. Season with a little nutmeg. Turn heat WAY down, just enough to keep the cheese melty. Give it a little stir now and then. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Into a casserole dish, scoop the the entire tub of whipped cream cheese and jar of alfredo sauce, add about a tablespoon each of worcesteshire sauce and sherry (you can always add more later for flavor if you want), sprinkle a couple dashes of nutmeg. Mix it all together well. Add the cheese sauce from the saucepan and mix it together well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Once your macaroni noodles are cooked, drain them and pour them into the casserole dish. Add a few pinches of truffle salt. Mix all the ingredients. Taste. Add anything else you think you might need more of – truffle salt, worcestershire sauce, sherry.
- Sprinkle the french fried onions over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Place casserole dish, uncovered, in oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the french fried onions start to brown and get crispy.
- Let cool just a bit and then serve.
So, this recipe has now been taste tested among people at work and at the potluck with resounding success. I used both the alfredo sauce and the truffle salt, so if you decide not to, I cannot be blamed for a bad macaroni and cheese experience;)