I have been a southerner longer than a northerner. Strange. My roots are along the rivers and between the hills of PA. My split ends are from the heat and the damaging rays of the flatlands of FL.
I have recently embraced grits and am now on a mission for good ole’ southern macaroni and cheese. I don’t think I know any southerners who could teach me a thing or two about family bar-b-ques with homemade macaroni and cheese. (Most are transplanted from the north). So, I turned to Patti LaBelle. Why not?
I didn’t think of her when I went grocery shopping for the goods. I figured a block of cheddar, monterey jack and velveeta would do. I had NO clue, but it wasn’t going to stop me. I got home, remembered my wish for Patti’s recipe, found it online, printed it and realized I had missed a few items. Quite frankly, this would deter Mark from moving forward. For me, it was a challenge to figure out what I had on hand to make up for the stuff Patti used that I ain’t got.
Italicized words are my interpreted ingredients (My Macaroni and Cheese). By the way, this is NOT healthy. I can’t even think of why it should be. Seriously, let it go… it’s not categorized under the Body, By God for a reason… This was a test for my southern living.
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (olive oil)
1lb Elbow Macaroni (rotini)
8 Tbsp (1 stick) plus 1 Tbsp Butter (good on this, + some)
1/2 Cup (2 ounces) Shredded Muenster Cheese (none)
1/2 Cup (2 ounces) Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese (none)
1/2 Cup (2 ounces) Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (8 ounces)
1/2 Cup (2 ounces) Shredded Monterey Jack (8 ounces)
2 Cups Half-And-Half (condensed milk + 1% to make 2 cups)
1 Cup (8 ounces) Velveeta , cut into small cubes (+ some, not the whole block though)
2 Large Eggs , lightly beaten (1 egg, I didn’t want custard)
1/4 tsp Seasoned Salt (coarse salt + garlic powder)
1/8 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
(a leftover bag of shredded 6 italian cheeses)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly (not so little) butter a deep 2 1/2-quart casserole.
2. Bring the large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the oil, then the elbow macaroni, and cook until the macaroni is just tender, about 7 minutes (my noodles are al dente at 10 minutes, so I cooked them 7 minutes). Do not overcook. Drain well. Return to the cooking pot.
3. In a small saucepan, melt eight tablespoons of the butter. Stir into the macaroni. In a large bowl, mix the Muenster, mild and sharp Cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheeses. To the macaroni, add the half-and-half, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, the cubed Velveeta, and the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the buttered casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and dot with the remaining one tablespoon of butter.
(Well, I added some butter to the noodles so they wouldn’t stick.
I mixed the egg with the milk and the remaining butter.
I shredded the cheese and broke my Pampered Chef Grater… agh
and mixed that into the noodles.
I then dumped the milk/egg mixture into the pot and stirred. Then transferred into a buttered casserole dish.)
4. Bake until it’s bubbling around the edges, about 35 minutes. Serve hot.
I swear to you, this was some good mac and cheese. Creamy, smooth, over the top yumm-eee-i-e-i-o!
Wonder if Patti’s is any good ya’ll?