Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Aunt Debbie's Luscious Cheese and Macaroni

Tasty Tuesday
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I would call this Macaroni and Cheese, but that would be a misnomer. It's cheese sauce with macaroni added (although usually I add whole wheat medium shells).

It's rich, decadent, filling, and oh so "comfort food." This is not Kraft Mac & Cheese. This is something you can serve to company.

My Aunt Debbie, like all good home cooks, doesn't use measurements. I would make them up, but that wouldn't be an Aunt Debbie recipe.

Oh, and be sure to tell stories the whole time you're making this. Aunt Debbie never cooks that she doesn't tell some great stories.

Aunt Debbie's Luscious Cheese and Macaroni
Adapted to serve about 4
  • a few Tbsps. of butter
  • a little more flour than butter
  • one can Evaporated Milk (not condensed)
  • a few glugs of heavy cream (about 1/2 or 1 cup)
  • cream cheese (about 1/2 a block or so), chopped
  • grated cheddar cheese (about 1/2 a pound or so)
  • salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper to taste
  • macaroni or shell noodles (1/2-3/4 of a box or so)

Cook noodles in salted water according to directions.
In a deep skillet, melt the butter and add flour. Cook on medium heat, whisking constantly for about 3 minutes, or until flour is semi-cooked but not browned.
Slowly add in the can of evaporated milk, whisking to avoid clumping of the flour, then add several glugs of heavy cream (1/2-1 cup).
Cook on medium/low heat until it bubbles and thickens a bit; season to taste.
Add in chopped cream cheese, and whisk occasionally until it melts (this is the longest part of the process, approximately 5 minutes).
When cream cheese is melted and incorporated, add cheddar cheese and stir occasionally (it should melt very quickly).
If the mixture is too thick, add some milk to thin -- just eyeball it.
Drain pasta and add to the cheese mixture (if your pot is not deep enough, spoon the cheese sauce into the drained pasta); stir and serve.

No need to bake it, though I'm sure you could (and add some breadcrumbs).

Oh, and I'm of the opinion that bacon grease makes everything better, so sometimes I add a little bacon grease to the butter/flour.

What have you made lately?

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