That said, the world of mac-n-cheese waits for no one. I made a batch last night, a combination of 'ultimate pot luck' dish for a friend's birthday and comfort food for a neighbor who just suffered a second trimester miscarriage. I searched online for a good recipe (hello, Food Network-- if a mac-n-cheese recipe has more than 10 ingredients, you might be overthinking things). What I found will now enter my repertoire.
Also, what did we ever do before pre-shredded cheese? It's one of those stupid luxuries that I am such a fan of that I don't even think twice about forking over $3.00 for a two cup package.
Susanna's Favorite So Far Mac-n-Cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees2 cups macaroni
2 cups whole milk (don't even think about shaving calories with 2%, 1% or, horrors, skim)
4 Tbs flour
4 Tbs butter, melted
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp garlic
2 cups + grated sharp cheddar cheese
dry bread crumbs, soaked in melted butter
Cook the macaroni to al dente, drain.
Make a roux with the melted butter, flour and milk (that is, mix them together in equal parts until they form a smooth paste)
Add in the salt, pepper and mustard.
Add in the grated cheese. Mix until smooth.
Return macaroni to the pot you boiled it in. Mix in the cheese sauce. Transfer to an oven-proof casserole dish.
Top with bread crumbs. Bake for 15 minutes. Enjoy with salad ('cause you need something healthy in there).