The biggest bonus to new motherhood is that there is a small window where you are licensed to eat just about whatever you want. So I ate with abandon, my lovely gift from my sisters. Since I can no longer eat with abandon (read: cholesterol, age), I have found a very receptive group who do appreciate the greatness that is Gran Fran’s Best Quality Cheddar Mac and Cheese: new parents in our friends and family circle.
Ah, let the cheesy goodness prevail!
Gran Fran’s Best Quality Cheddar Mac and Cheese
(4 if you want to eat huge portions like a maniac!)
One Large Non-Reactive Stockpot (nonstick if you have it)
One Large Baking Dish (I usually use a 9×12″ Pyrex)
- 1 pound Elbow Macaroni, cooked and drained
- 3 Tbs Butter
- 3 Tbs Flour
- 3 Cups Milk
- 1 and 1/2 pounds Best Quality Cheddar, crumbled or shredded (preferably white, it just looks better!)
- 1 Tsp. Dry Mustard
- 1 Tsp. Cayenne (you can add more it you like it spicier)
- 1/4 cup Bread Crumbs (may need a little more or less here, it’s to cover the top)
- Butter for the top, and for greasing the pan
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Make a roux (which is just the butter and flour mixed together over medium heat in the stockpot, until it turns brown).
- When roux has browned, add the milk. Stir well over high heat for 1 minute, then reduce the heat.
- Add the dry spices.
- Simmer 10 minutes on low, stirring occasionally.
- Add crumbled or shredded cheese. Stir until melted
- Add cooked/drained macaroni. Stir until well coated.
- Butter the baking dish well. Pour in the mixture of Mac and Cheese from the stockpot into the baking dish.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top, and butter in small pieces as well.
- Bake at 375 degrees on top of a baking sheet for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling up at the sides.