Posted inRecipe

Classic Baked Mac and Cheese

When it comes to the perfect side dish for any barbecue gathering or Sunday dinner, mac and cheese undoubtedly takes the crown.

While I can’t claim it’s the healthiest option, its golden crust, luscious creaminess, and rich cheesy flavor make it a year-round favorite.

I’m thrilled to share with you my grandma’s classic mac and cheese recipe—a timeless indulgence that never fails to satisfy.

Ingredients:

Before diving into the cooking process, let’s gather the ingredients for this cheesy masterpiece:

  • Elbow macaroni
  • Velveeta
  • Mozzarella, Swiss, Kobe Jack, mild and sharp cheddar cheeses
  • Lowry seasoning salt
  • Carnation evaporated milk
  • Whole milk
  • Eggs
  • Dry ground mustard
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Butter
  • Sour cream

The process

let’s get started

Step 1: Shredding the Cheeses

The key to a perfect mac and cheese lies in the cheese blend. Combine mozzarella, Swiss, Kobe Jack, mild and sharp cheddar cheeses, and Velveeta. Don’t shy away from Velveeta—it adds the creaminess that makes mac and cheese truly indulgent.

Step 2: Creating the Custard

In a bowl, whisk together two large eggs, Lowry seasoning salt, and black pepper. Incorporate Carnation evaporated milk and whole milk, ensuring the seasonings are well mixed. Add dry ground mustard and a hint of cayenne pepper for an extra kick.

Step 3: Preparing the Elbow Macaroni

Boil elbow macaroni in heavily salted water until just short of al dente. Skip the oil—mixing it a bit will prevent sticking. Once drained, add a generous amount of butter and a few tablespoons of sour cream to coat the macaroni.

Step 4: Mixing the Custard and Cheeses

Combine the custard with the macaroni, ensuring the eggs are well incorporated. Slowly add the cheese blend, stirring gently to avoid breaking the macaroni. This is the stage to adjust creaminess and seasoning to your preference.

Step 5: Layering and Baking

Layer the macaroni and cheese in a baking dish, adding a sprinkle of cheese between layers for that perfect cheese pull. Top it off with more shredded cheese, creating a golden-brown crust. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes, covering with foil for the first 20 minutes.

Step 6: Garnishing and Serving

As your kitchen fills with the irresistible aroma, take out the mac and cheese, and sprinkle it with smoked paprika and freshly chopped parsley. The result? A golden-brown, beautiful masterpiece that’s ready to be devoured.

FAQ

Is it necessary to use so many different cheeses, and can I substitute any of them?

The variety of cheeses contributes to the rich flavor and perfect cheese pull. Feel free to experiment, but using a mix of cheeses, including Velveeta, will give you the creaminess and depth that make this mac and cheese outstanding.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

You can prepare the mac and cheese up to the point of baking, refrigerate it, and then bake it when you’re ready to serve. Just adjust the baking time accordingly, and you’ll still get that golden crust.

How can I make this dish less rich or more diet-friendly?

For a lighter version, consider using low-fat or skim milk, reducing the amount of butter, or opting for lower-fat cheese options. You can also incorporate whole wheat or alternative pasta for added nutritional value.

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