**this is a reincarnated recipe post from Joggerslife, so excuse the ancient references to cookie parties.**
Although I am a baker at heart, I also love cooking. My favorite things to make are comfort foods, and I love nothing more than to whip up a huge pan of mac ‘n cheese or grits ‘n greens for potlucks and family parties. [I also have an affinity for food names that have an ‘n in them].
One of my most requested contributions for parties is my mac ‘n cheese. In the past, I’ve actually lay awake at night, conjuring up ways to make my mac ‘n cheese even better. Now, I think that I’ve come to a resting point with the recipe. Rather than try to change it any further, I’m going to leave it just the way it is.
There are several things that I love about this recipe, but the one thing that puts it over the top is the pasta. Please don’t use elbow noodles. I’ll cry if I hear about it. I promise you that it’s only about 32% as good when you use anything other than cavatappi or cellentani pasta.
This one…the corkscrews!
I brought this ridiculicious mac ‘n cheese yesterday to the annual Cookie Party, and it was a total hit. So much that it’s prompted me to post the recipe here, allowing me to share it with all of my blends as well as my real friends at once [hi friends!]. I only wish I had taken a picture yesterday of its’ beautifulness. I guess you’ll just have to make it yourself!
Let me know if you try it. I promise it’s delish. This would be the perfect thing to bring to Mom’s house (or Grandma’s) for Christmas dinner. Everyone will love it.
Beth’s Ridiculicious Mac & Cheese
2# Cavatappi or Cellentani Pasta (they hold the most cheesy goodness!)
1C White Zinfindel
1C Heavy Cream (or milk, if you must)
3 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 T Horseradish
1/2 T Garlic Powder
1 t Pepper
1 t Paprika
1 T all purpose flour
3 T Milk or water
24 Oz. Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (I buy the huge bag already shredded from Safeway)
12 Oz. Shredded Cheddar & Colby Cheese Blend (Ditto above, but use only ½ the bag)
1-2 C Corn Flakes (crushed), or Bread Crumbs
1 C Fried Onions (canned or homemade)
1) Boil pasta al dente, drain and set aside. Noodles should be a little chewy, or they’ll end up mushy after you bake the mac n cheese! Reserve about 1 cup of the noodle water in case you need it later.
2) In a large pot (think: big enough to hold all of the noodles and be able to stir and mix at will), bring the White Zinfindel to a low boil, and simmer on low/medium for about 3-5 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, garlic powder, pepper and paprika. Simmer on low/medium for another 3-5 minutes.
3) With the mixture still at a low simmer, start whisking in the shredded cheese gradually. Keep the heat high enough to melt the cheese fully, but not high enough to burn. Continuously stir the cheese as it melts, or it won’t make a nice smooth sauce.
4) After all of the cheese has melted, whisk together the flour and milk/water until it’s fully dissolved and not lumpy anymore. Turn up the heat on the cheese mixture slightly, then begin quickly whisking the flour/water into the cheese. You have to do this quickly and whisk the whole time or it will end up lumpy. After it’s all dissolved and combined, turn heat down to low/warm.
5) Hot noodles work best, so if you weren’t able to keep them warm while you were making the cheese mixture, re-drain them in hot water to warm them up a bit. Add the noodles to the cheese mixture in 3 parts, making sure not to add too many noodles to the cheese mixture. I always end up with extra noodles in the end [which is perfectly fine with me…that means I have buttered noodles for days! …oh, buttered noodles!] If things get a little dry, just add in some of the reserved noodle water (from above).
6) Top with crushed corn flakes or bread crumbs and fried onions. Cover in foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, removing foil for the last 10 minutes.
Let me know if you make it–I’d love to know how it went!
Click for printable version!