I really believe in sharing recipes with others. If I have a friend who is suffering, and I can not be with her physically, I send her a recipe. Buttermilk Waffles, Coconut Rice, Crock Pot Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese– those are all physical representations of love, hugs, and warm quilts, wrapped in the disguise of food. Is there anything more hug-worthy than home cooked Mac & Cheese?
Everybody has their own version of homemade Macaroni and Cheese, don’t they? But, mine is special. It is special because it was given to me, shared with me by a dear friend who will now be referred to as JM. JM has a knack for good recipes. She is a foodie in her own right, but she truly appreciates down home cooking and the joy of comfort food. A few years ago, she put together a little book of favorite recipes which she gifted to family members and good friends for Christmas. I was lucky enough to receive her book. Though I own a fair share of cookbooks, from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking to the Disney Magic Kitchen Cookbook, JM’s book is a bright star that shines on my shelf. S0 I thought I’d share the wealth with y’all. With JM’s permission, here is her mother’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe.
1 cube butter
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. chicken bullion (or 1/2 cube Knorr’s chicken bullion cube)
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp. lowery’s seasoned salt
dash of pepper
dash of nutmeg
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups gruyere (I’ve also used jarlsberg in a pinch and it was magnificent.)
Boil 16 oz. pasta (JM prefers shells because the cheese wells up inside. I tend to agree with her). While pasta is cooking, make your white sauce. In medium sauce pan, melt butter. Add flour and whisk for two minutes. Add milk, mustard, seasoned salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Continue stirring over medium heat until sauce is thickened.
In a casserole dish, layer: 1/2 pasta, 1/2 cheese, 1/2 pasta, 1/2 cheese. Pour white sauce over the top. Sprinkle 1/2 cup bread crumbs on top. Bake for 35 minutes at 350.
This dish is so comfortable that I am always bursting at the seams to share it with others. In fact, it is the “star” of my standard meal I take to mothers of newborn babies. It is the epitome of comfort food.