Monday, March 31, 2014

Gooey Macaroni and Cheese

We are a bit of Macaroni and Cheese addicts in this house... My kids even like the stuff from the blue box (not hating... I just wouldn't eat that stuff with a 10 foot fork). Honestly, anything my son agrees to eating a whole bowl of will end up on the table in a heart beat though.

This Mac recipe uses real heavy cream and sharp cheddar cheese. The greatest thing about mac and cheese is you can make it yours by switching up noodles (I sometimes like to use Penne) or cheeses (Gruyere is to DIE for inside, if y'know, breaking the bank on cheese is your forte). Just please, please don't use bagged shredded cheese. That rubber taste? Yep, that's what's coating your cheese.... blehhhhh.

Here is the recipe for my version, slightly adapted from Shugary Sweets.

You will need:
1 (16 ounce) box large elbow macaroni
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2-3 dashes hot sauce
1 1/2 pounds extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 sleeve Ritz crackers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Fill a large pot with salted water and set over high heat to boil.
While that is starting, in a large sauce pan, add in the butter and 2% milk. Set over medium heat until the butter is completely melted and the milk begins to simmer but not boil. Slowly, whisking vigorously, add in the 1/2 cup of flour. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes until the mixture is very thick and bubbly.

Slowly whisk in the 2 cups of heavy cream. Sprinkle with seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, and dashes of hot sauce. (Remember, its always better to start with less. You can always add more but it's really hard to take away... Kind of like when you gain weight...) Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, whisking, for 5 minutes.

*At this point your hot water should be at a rolling boil, dump box of noodles inside and cooking, stirring occasionally, according to package instructions.

(it's like hot sauce fireworks, y'all)

When the 5 minutes are up, add in the shredded cheese (reserving 1/2 cup for the top) and stir until completely melted.

When noodles are al dente, drain, and combine the noodles and cheese mixture. Pour mac into a 9x13" baking dish.

Sprinkle with reserved cheese.
Taking 5 crackers at a time (or however many you can fit in your palm) crush and sprinkle over the top of the mac and shredded cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
Cool slightly and serve.

I love this Mac and Cheese guys, I just LURVE it!

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