I wish I could recall the number of boxes of macaroni and cheese that I purchased as Eric and Brian grew up. It was the blue box with powdered cheese—you know. And they ate it like it was filet mignon and requested it every day. It was comfort food then, and it is still comfort food.
I decided that since they loved it so much, I would surprise them with homemade mac and cheese and really become Mother of the Year. I got in the kitchen, mixed up the masterpiece, baked it until golden brown, and brought it to the table ready for the trumpets to blast and accolades to begin. But there was only silence—dead silence. The stared at each other and then looked up and asked, “What is this?”
Fast forward several years, and those two still love mac and cheese along with everyone else I know, but they now love the real deal. As we were working on our mac and cheese special issue, I thought about this several times as I watched them sample the delicacies that came out of our test kitchens. You will love this issue and find new and fabulous versions of mac and cheese to try. Now my grandchildren, they still love the blue box with powdered cheese! Some things never change, nor should they.
Please enjoy this recipe from Taste of the South‘s Southern Classic Mac & Cheese special issue, and get free shipping if you order today!
Extra-Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
11⁄2 teaspoons salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon dry ground mustard
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
5 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
12 ounces pasteurized processed cheese, such as Velveeta, cubed
1 (16-ounce) package elbow macaroni, cooked
Preheat oven to 450°.
Spray a 3-to 4-quart or 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in milk, salt, pepper, mustard, and nutmeg. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in mozzarella, 4 cups Cheddar, and processed cheese until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked pasta. Pour into prepared dish.
Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Cheddar. Bake until cheese melts, 4 to 5 minutes more.
Do you prefer your macaroni and cheese from the stovetop or the oven?