Southern-Style Macaroni and Cheese so Good It'll Make You Want to Slap Your Grandmama!
Macaroni and Cheese Is About Heritage
The first thing y'all need to understand about this recipe is that I'm from the South. Anyone who's grown up there knows there are five food groups, and macaroni and cheese is the fifth. Every little Southern girl (and some little Southern boys) learns how to make the perfect macaroni and cheese at their mama's knee. This is a key life skill along with learning how to use the term "y'all" (it never means just one person) and knowing that if you're "fixin'" to do something, it means you'll do it once you get around to it. Macaroni and cheese is an all-purpose dish that works for wakes, weddings, baby showers, Sunday dinner, and church-covered dish suppers. No one turns it down. If they say they did, they'd be a doggone liar.
Now that we've established that, let's get to what I was fixin' to say...how to help y'all make the best macaroni and cheese you ever put in your mouth.
- 4 cups small elbow macaroni
- 4 tbsp butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 12 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, block (not pre-shredded)
- 1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
- 2 tbsp salt
- A dash of pepper
- Pour 4 quarts of water into a very large pot. Add salt and a little oil to the water and bring it to a rapid boil.
- Add the noodles and boil them for about 8 minutes. Do not overcook them because it will continue to cook in the oven. Drain noodles with a strainer.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour to the pan and stir it together for 2-3 minutes to create a roux. Make sure the raw flour is absorbed.
- Slowly add the milk to the saucepan while constantly stirring the roux. You will use approximately one cup of milk for this step.
- Add in one cup of cheese to create the sauce. As it begins to thicken, add it to the cooked pasta. Stir everything together until combined and add the salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread half of the mixture into a greased 13"x9"x2" glass pan. Add some of the grated cheese to cover the macaroni mixture. Add just enough milk to moisten the mixture and the cheese.
- Repeat the last step for second half of the macaroni mixture and grated cheese. Add milk on top until you can see it coming up to the top edge of the layers.
- Place the baking dish on a foil-wrapped baking sheet to prevent spills in the oven. Bake for around 30 minutes at 375 degrees or until hot and bubbly. The cheese on top should just begin to brown.
- Now for goodness sake, eat it because you've worked so hard!
Besides the potential grandma abuse I mentioned in the title, this macaroni and cheese has been known to inspire unsolicited marriage proposals, a feeling of immense satisfaction and fullness, and healing of whatever ails you! Let me know how it turns out below! But do know that if you mess it up, it's not the recipe's fault!