Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

When it comes to Mac and Cheese, it seems there are two different camps: saucy and baked. I come from a long line of baked mac and cheese fans. It's the way my grandmother made it. As far as I'm concerned, as long as there are noodles and cheese, it can't be bad. I've never met a mac and cheese that I didn't love. Can I get an amen? 

If you've been around Fork Heart Kentucky for any amount of time, you can see that my gom-gom's recipes are quite important to me.  Go ahead and add this one to the list. She was a pretty special woman and people rave about this particular dish.  You don't have to tell anyone in my family whose recipe this is when they see it in the buffet line--everyone already knows. 

I've said it before and I'll say it many, many more times, but I love how food brings out memories or can strike up a conversation. A week or so ago I was "watching" Astronaut Wives Club with Cara (I saw 'watching' because she lives in Florida) and one of the wives was making a salad with gelatin and mayonnaise.  I'm pretty sure Cara was grossed out because she said "jello and mayo"? That immediately brought back a memory of eating lime jello with Gom-gom at Biancke's back home in Cynthiana. It is such a vivid scene. She would sit there, drinking her decaf with her sweater draped around her shoulders. Man, I miss those days.  And yes, she would spread mayo on her jello salad and it was delicious. I prefer it with lime over the other flavors. Hey! Don't knock it till you try it! 

This Baked Macaroni and Cheese is not controversial, unlike the jello.  This is something we can all agree on (I hope). Cheese, noodles, eggs, milk. Can it get any easier than that? You want more good news? You can make it in advance and bake when you're ready to eat! I just keep making this day better for you, don't I?  

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
7 eggs
3 cups milk
1 (16 ounce) block sharp cheddar, sliced
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Cook noodles according to package directions, making sure to salt the water. 

Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and milk. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. 

When noodles are cooked and drained, add half of them to a 9x13 baking dish. Top with half of the sliced cheese. Cover with remaining noodles and again with the remaining cheese. Pour the egg and milk mixture evenly over the noodles. 

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the egg mixture has set. 

You can make this the night before and bake it an hour before serving. 


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