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Saturday, November 29, 2008

The best macaroni and cheese

What happened to fall? I've been too busy with other things to do any blogging. It looks like the key may be getting up before anyone else.

Everyone seems to love this macaroni and cheese. Jackie, a friend in Medina, gave me the recipe. It's not something you want to eat on a serious diet, though. Well, you'd WANT it, but. . . .

It's also fine without the crumb topping. I use penne instead of elbow macaroni if my sister is going to partake because of justified childhood macaroni issues she is unable to overcome. Joe and I like to have broccoli with it so we can feel a little virtuous.

Mostly Sweetie Pie’s Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb. elbow macaroni or small penne
1 cup milk (skim to whole, doesn’t matter)
2 12-oz. cans evaporated milk (skim, 2% or whole)
3 eggs
Salt, to taste (I skip it; lots of salt in the cheeses)
1 tsp. pepper (more if you use white pepper)
1 heaping tbsp. sugar
1 lb. shredded Colby-Jack cheese
½ lb. sharp Cheddar, shredded
½ lb. mild Cheddar, shredded and divided in half
1 lb. Velveeta (small box), cut into small chunks
2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces (I use one stick butter, one light margarine)

Topping:
4 tbsp. butter
2 heaping cups Panko bread crumbs
¼ cup shredded Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13-by-9-inch pan. (Unless it’s pretty deep, also spray a smaller pan, 1 ½- to 2-quart. This makes a lot, but it freezes well).
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain (do not rinse) and set aside.
Meanwhile, for topping: In a saucepan or medium skillet, melt butter and add bread crumbs, stirring to toast a bit. Remove from heat and toss with Parmesan.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, evaporated milk, eggs and seasonings. Stir in the cheeses except 1 cup of the mild Cheddar. Stir in butter chunks and slightly cooled pasta. Pour into prepared pans. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup Cheddar. Sprinkle the topping evenly over pasta. Bake 30 to 45 minutes until bubbly and top is lightly browned.
If you want the top to be browner, slide dish under broiler briefly.

FYI: The recipe is from the Sweetie Pie’s restaurants in St. Louis. The owner, Robbie Montgomery, was a backup singer for Ike and Tina Turner. She doesn’t use a topping and I made a few other minor changes, which is why it’s “Mostly” Sweetie Pie’s.

3 comments:

M.B. said...

I am just now catching up on your blog, and this macaroni and cheese recipe has my stomach rumbling. Yummmmm.

Anonymous said...

I made this last night. Truly awesome. Lots of leftovers to freeze.

What happens to the other cup of mild cheddar? Directions say to add all but 1 cup to mixture. I added it to the topping ...

Gloria Irwin

Debby said...

Gloria, I just now saw this comment. Are you the Gloria I used to work with?
Anyway, I was just looking at this recipe today to make it for a teen nephew with a voracious appetite, and noticed the error. It's the 1 cup that's supposed to be set aside from the "1/2 lb. Cheddar, divided in half." It is supposed to be sprinkled over the top before the crumb mixture.
Good catch! Thanks, I will correct that.