Tuesday, May 08, 2007

JBelle's Mac and Cheese

There was a brief, brief period of time where we used the box. It's not something we're proud of. It was a weird time in our life. If anything, it gave us an overriding appreciation and value for good cheese and a properly salted and oiled water. Thank God those days are long gone. This will please every little kid who ever graces your door and many of the big kids, too. But know this: they will eat like truck drivers.

1 pkg salad macaroni,

cooked with oil and salt to al dente,

draining in colander in sink

2 pounds sharp cheddar, grated

1 cube butter

1 cup flour

2 cans evaporated milk

Heat a large saute pan until hot and melt butter. Immediately turn heat way down as butter will burn quite easily. Using a small mesh strainer, sift flour into the bubbling butter and stir in quickly with wire whip to avoid lumps. The heat should be very low at this stage. Once the bubbling butter has absorbed the flour, add one can of milk in a very small steady stream, stirring very fast. Continue to whip and stir until milk is absorbed. Stir in next can of milk similarly as butter/flour mixture cooks. Repeat: heat is very low. If your timing is off and you end up with lumps, pour the butter/flour mixture into the sieve and strain into another bowl, using the wire whip to eliminate all lumps. Turn back into saute pan. Turn heat off. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. You have to be careful with the cayenne. I always forget a little goes a long way and that even the slightest bit too much cayenne will ravage those little taste buds even if the teenage boys and their daddys love the cayenne. Slightly undersalt to taste as the sharp cheese will force a technical correction to proper seasoning. Turning heat back on, add all the grated cheese except for two healthy handsful. With a wooden spoon, stir in cheese to melt, getting to the bottom of the pan and turning the cheese into and over the sauce. You should have a perfect cheese sauce at this stage. Turn the macaroni back into cooking pan and pour cheese sauce over, incorporating into the macaroni with wooden spoon. Turn into a sprayed casserole and top with the remaining cheese. Bake 350 degrees until cheese browns and bubble. More hugs. Lots and lots of smiles. Very few preservatives.

Note: I use salad macaroni because the little spoons seem to get it into the little mouths better.



The 'Kan EWA


Anonymous said...

Really good mac and cheese has always been a favorite of mine. I look forward to trying your recipe.

When I was a child, (the earth still had a crust) friends of my parents had a Chow. His name was Ching and he scared my mother no end. In actuality, he was a love. My mother didn't allow pets at home, so I could always be found cuddling Ching.....until my mother noticed and shreiked. Finally Ching had enough of my mother and growled each time she came near, while allowing me to remain firmly attached to him. I remember Ching with great affection.

MarmiteToasty said...

:) never heard of salad macoroni before lol do you mean 'mini mac' :) and whats 'shark cheddar' LMFAO and what the hell is a cube of butter? is that like 2oz or 48 gms? now evaporated milk Ive heard of LOL


We love macornia cheese in this house....... :) xxxx

Carla said...

This is going to make me sound like I had a really sheltered childhood...but I had never tried the boxed stuff until I was over 18. (And I'm not sure that anything edible that glows in the dark should be legal). Are we going to get your whole cookbook? This looks like good stuff. Thanks!

JBelle said...

Good morning Wondering,

Chows are highly relational; more than any dog I have ever had. They are typically one-people dogs; Ching must haved luuuuuved you! The Chow Nation has endorsed both me and Joe Montana, however, and Cliffie who works here a few days a week. Not many others...Red Dorothy still barks and growls at Angie Mariani when she comes home.

oh Melsie, do I remember Southwark Lad saying he couldn't locate the salad macaroni and so used elbow? He said, to his surprise, that it tasted the same. THIS is the high IQ one. Also: no shark cheddar. Old? old cheddar? I went through this exact conversation with SL not in September. JBelle's Mac and Cheese really is comfort food of the highest order. Would you like me to get the ounces and translate them? You want a bag of macaroni about 3/4 the length of your forearm. With 4 boys, you want two of these bags. You want a hunk of cheese the size of a good brick. With 4 boys, you want it the size of an oversize brick. You want 4 cans of milk between 4-5 inches tall (god, there we go again) and half pound of butter. When I come to visit the boys, I will make it for them. They will be blowing me kisses.

Carla, we didn't do box at our house in Coeur d'Alene either. My children only discoverd box on overnights with other kids. And it appears in this group, YOU are the high IQ. You're the first one to see the trend. :)

Julie said...

Jbelle, I'll have to send you my mac and cheese recipe sometime. It's a little more involved than yours, but I do love it with some dishes and use it as a side dish.

Husband still loves the boxed mac & cheese. So to note: I never let that man cook!!!! And he offers every day. But then he likes those Sunshine Hydrox cookies too. Ewww.

Anonymous said...

I had Dobermans for 25 years. My mother shreiked at them as well. They are also relational, albeit more on the one family dog. They were the most amazing childrens dog you could meet. I believe Ching understood my affection for him. And he loved the attention. I also believe he took great pleasure in growling at my mother. : )

PDX Pup said...

Stupid freaking Dorothy. Even when I have food scraps, she hates me. Anyhoo, this went over very well when I made it for the Dodson boys; no evap. milk, so we had to use the non-fat they had...no sharp cheese either, just regular cheddar. Tasty nonetheless.

The Fool said...

Bless you, JBelle. My youngest loves mac & cheese...and was raised on the box stuff by the X. I don't partake in the ritual, normally won't even stock it, as I was raised on the real McCoy as a kid. I can't imagine otherwise. Unfortunately, I never wrote down a recipe, nor asked for it. This will really bring back the kid in me, and perhaps help me wean the young one from the teats of Kraft. Thanks!! Now, on to chicken...

...you sure are adding to my grocery list for the weekend.


JBelle said...

Ford: it's quite possible that I was the lousiest mother in the world and my children will be in therapy for life. But I will tell you I was always very particular about what they put in their mouth. I took great joy in cooking for them and on this day, still do.

The Fool said...

JBelle (and you will probably have a new "nick" by the end of this ramble)... Ha! I hope my kids can afford the therapists...


...and begging question...just to be tuned...is this "Ford" to which you ref as in FMF? Or one of the other of the effen F-clan? I can't seem to pigeonhole myself in with the other F's I know... I don't feel like an assembly line, or a wannabe politician. Of course, I may be missing one or two F's...

...or did some other ref buzz right past me?

I'm bewildered, Cheechacko.


JBelle said...

Lord Foolish: It was the Chows that christened you FORD. Kinda of a play on words. But you can't know ever what really goes on out there in Club Chow. For sure.

Ford. Lord Foolish.


The Fool said...

Yeah, Cheech, who can read a chow?


Have a great evening.

InlandEmpireGirl said...

We often do a traditional mac and cheese night on Friday after a long week. I use the original Betty Crocker recipe. I think this one sounds like a keeper. I hear JEJ in the background saying, " You did say sharp cheddar, right!" Once again, thanks.

green libertarian said...

I did the box Mac and Cheese a couple of weeks ago, hadn't had it in years, bought the package on a whim awhile ago. Just about barfed that night. A friend of mine told me, oh, don't do all those chemicals. She makes her own two, from scratch. I'd have to rather cut down your recipe for just little old me, but I might just give it a go.

JBelle said...

GLib, Baby,

How are you?

Make all of it and then freeze it; you should get about .... 6 ? portions of it. My oldest had a problem with preservatives and he would zoom when I gave him mac and cheese from the box, WHICH MY MOTHER SAID WAS OKAY. sigh. sigh.sigh. Once I switched back to the mac and cheese my mother made when we were little, he slipped into bed quite easily. It's his birthday tomorrow. Stay tuned. And check out what he and his friends are eating at his party pictures. :) :) :)

toadman said...

Spoons! Our little animals seem to use their fingers more often than their utensils.

This stuff is awesome also!! Thanks!