Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mac and Cheese

It’s Christmas break. No school. No work. And lots of free time. So, I’ve begun this project. I am going through all of my great grandmother’s recipe books and picking out recipes that seem special and delicious. I’m consulting family members and using my own speculation in choosing the recipes (there are 100s in the books, I wish I could do them all!). After looking through all of them, I feel like I am closer to a woman I never got the chance to meet, Na-Na. My mom had such a special relationship with Na-Na growing up in Greenville, SC. Sunday dinners at her house are some of my mom’s favorite childhood memories. My first dish in this adventure was Macaroni and Cheese. As my favorite comfort dish, I only found it fitting to try this first.

Na-Na’s Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb macaroni (cooked and drained)
2 ½ c shredded cheddar cheese
3 tblsp butter
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ c milk
2 eggs
½ c buttered bread crumbs

Cover bottom of baking dish with layer of macaroni. Sprinkle cheese and bits of butter, salt, and pepper. Continue to layer in the same order until all is used up, having cheese on top. Mix eggs and milk together, pour over dish. Top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown on top and eggs are completely cooked.

I had to change the recipe a bit. I added more cheese, as I believe you can never have enough cheese. I also had to indicate the temperature of the oven and time because the recipe only indicates to cook in a moderate oven. To make buttered bread crumbs I melted ½ tblsp of butter and mixed it into the bread crumbs. Even with the slight modifications, the dish turned out to be delicious. The cayenne gives it a subtle kick of heat that perfectly contrasts the creaminess of the cheese. This mac and cheese is the perfect comfort food on a cold winter day!

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