Mmm, I wonder what all this fat is about to make.
I’m about to digress and tell y’all a true story. On Sundays, I sit down and plan our meals for the week so I can do a massive amount of grocery shopping and get it all out of the way. I write down our dinner plans on a Google calendar that is shared between Martin and I so I can keep track of what I’m making. And every night when Martin comes home, we have pretty much this same conversation:
Martin: What’s cooking?
Melanie: What do you think it is?
Martin: (insert accurate response here)
Melanie: How did you know!?
Martin: (pointed stare)
The whole point of the story was to say I’m not precisely sure why Martin even asks if he already knows or why I am continually shocked when I ask him to guess and he’s right. Either way, that is one of our routines. Every. night.
Yes, we are boring. Boring boring bor-ing. I feel like maybe I should delete this last little part of the post but instead I’m going to move on and use the time I saved/wasted to be less boring.
My favorite food inspiration, Amy, linked me to this Saveur recipe for Southern Macaroni and Cheese. I have never had any luck making roux-based macaroni and cheeses and also grew up eating this kind of macaroni and cheese, so I knew it would be any day before I tried it. And so it was said and so it was done.
When I make baked goods that call for whole sticks of butter, there are always lots of butter bits stuck to the paper, so I save the wrappers for times like this. Greasing pans is a snap this way.
My biggest issue with roux-based mac and cheese is that I can never get the flour taste to go away. Either it’s not mixing well with the sauce and comes out grainy or the sauce just isn’t as cheesy as I hoped it would be. Then it was just a whole bunch of work and not a lot to show for it besides average macaroni and cheese (and isn’t that a mayjah disappointment?).
So one thing I liked about this recipe is how easy it was. There’s almost no cooking involved. You parboil the pasta, mix together a cream sauce, pour it over the hot pasta, sprinkle with even more delicious cheese and bake until the top is nicely browned. I’m not sure how Saveur got their beautiful top crust, as I followed their directions and mine came out looking pretty un-crusted.
Wow! Soupy, right? Someone in the comments noted that the pasta-to-sauce ratio seemed off and I took note and doubled the amount of pasta. I also grated the cheese but had difficulty mixing it evenly within the pasta. I think I might mix the cheese into the custard next time for more even cheese distribution. Also, I might try a smaller pan as I felt it was a bit too thin for my taste.
If this recipe was on eBay, I think my feedback would be something like “A+++++++++++++++++++++ would make again!!!!” Served with a big side salad and a tall glass of cold sweet tea, this was a perfectly delicious and filling dinner.