Monday, November 19, 2007

Baked Mac & Cheese

Lots of people ask for baked mac & cheese recipes on my cooking blog so I thought I would go ahead and put this one in my blog so I would be ready for the next one. My mom and grandmother have been making this for as long as I can remember. Tot was my grandmother, she was my dad's mom, and she was a wonderful southern cook. She would spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals for her family because that was something that she truly enjoyed. I am making this to take to my mother-in-law's house on Thanksgiving day. We always had Mac&Cheese Pie as my mom calls it on Thanksgiving. I think that baked mac & cheese is a southern thing so I am excited to share this with my non-southern ILs and to get their opinions. Ok without further delay here is the recipe and notes straight out of the family cookbook, courtesey of my mother:

Macaroni and Cheese like Tot’s

I didn’t get this recipe from Tot. I had to experiment for years to duplicate the taste of hers. She added lots of margarine, but I think the cheese is fatty enough, especially if you use Borden’s.

1-7 or 8 oz. pkg. of small elbow macaroni, or two cups from a bigger box, boiled according to package directions
3 cups of milk, again I use 2% milk because the cheese has so much fat in it
3 cups (12 oz.) of shredded sharp cheese
Salt and pepper to taste. Do not add butter or margarine or it will turn out too greasy.

Spray Pam in a two quart baking dish - I use round sometimes and oblong others. Preheat the oven to 350°. While that’s warming up, if you have a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup, pour in the milk to the 3 cup mark and then break the three eggs into it. You can add the salt and pepper to the liquid, or wait and sprinkle it over the layers later. Whisk them together till sort of foamy, or at least blended well. Put about half the boiled macaroni and half the cheese in the baking dish and then repeat. Make the cheese look nice on top and then pour the liquid over the layers. Lots of people like to sprinkle paprika on top, but my family doesn’t like that. Cook in the preheated oven 50 minutes or until it is as golden or brown as you like it. Kind of jiggle it when the 50 minutes is up to be sure it has set. If it seems loose, cook it longer. A lot depends on the dish you use. You can actually do the same thing, same amounts, in a crock pot, just mix it up and cook three hours on low. It won’t be brown or golden, but it will taste just the same.

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