Celebrating Labor Day with a grill out? How about these side dishes – Mac & cheese side dishes, that is. Matt Swaim, Sonrise Morning Show, Sacred Heart Radio, chatted today about Labor Day and just what folks did for jobs during Bible times. Did you know that one of the jobs was professional mourner? No kidding, people got paid to wail and mourn. Also there were lots of skilled crafts and I think cooking would have been included, even though it was, and certainly is, a necessary one. I hope you have a wonderful end of summer!
Clone of BBQ Review’s famous mac & cheese
I had to laugh when Bill Thomas of BBQ Review restaurant in Madisonville,Ohio agreed to share the recipe for his iconic mac & cheese. His restaurant has been closed for some time but the requests for the mac & cheese continue. Bill said “I’ll share, no problem, but it starts with 18 pounds macaroni, 20 pounds of cheese, and makes 120 pounds and no, I won’t even try to break it down!” OK then….well I fiddled with it and came up with a good recipe hopefully close to Bill’s. I even followed his technique for cooking the macaroni and the cheese sauce.
If you want it “cheesier” add more cheese. This is more like the old fashioned type, with a mild flavor.
I did add one step of my own: after the mac & cheese was done, I put it in a sprayed casserole, and ran it under the broiler to brown the top a bit.
This recipe doubles or triples easily.
1//2 pound elbow macaroni – 2 cups dry
1 stick butter – 4 oz.
1/4 cup onion, diced fine
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz. regular, not low fat, Velveeta cheese, cubed
6-8 oz. Shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups milk, warmed
Boil macaroni in salted water, drain, and set aside while making sauce.
Over medium heat, melt butter and stir in onion. Cook until onion is translucent but not brown. Add flour, salt and pepper and whisk just until flour is starting to turn golden. Stir in milk and whisk until thicker and bubbly.
Remove from heat and stir in Velveeta and a little more than half the cheddar. Stir in macaroni. The mac & cheese will be very creamy and thickens as it sits. Sprinkle with rest of cheddar.
Versatile cheese sauce: Sauce alone is a good all-purpose cheese sauce.
Oven baked mac & cheese
Kathyrn Blackburn’s recipe from a friend is easy. .”I have taken it several places and everyone loved it”, she said.
2 cups uncooked macaroni
3 tablespoons melted butter
8 oz. each shredded sharp & mild cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper, if desired
Preheat oven to 350.
Melt butter, let cool a little, then mix in dry macaroni.
Add 2 cheeses, salt and pepper and mix well.
Put in Pam sprayed 13 X 9 dish.
Add cheeses but DO NOT STIR.
Pour milk over.
Bake one hour.
1) Can be made ahead and put in refrigerator up to overnight. Take out and let warm up before baking.
2) Can be taken with milk in separate container and baked when you get somewhere.
3) If you are taking it somewhere, don’t bake it quite so long because it will keep “baking” during transit and get dry.
4) Cut in half or quarter, or double, etc.!
STOVETOP MAC & CHEESE
Really easy, really good! It’s best to get a block of cheese and shred it. Shredded cheese contains ingredients that allow it not to clump in the bag, but sometimes that causes uneven melting.
4-5 cups milk (5 for creamier Mac & cheese)
12 oz. Box dried macaroni
7-8 oz. block cheddar, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
To give it a kick at the end: A dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
Bring milk to a gentle boil in a large pot.
Add macaroni and on medium low heat, cook macaroni until done, about 15 minutes.
Stir frequently and taste toward the end of the cooking time. Macaroni will absorb the milk.
Remove from heat, add salt and pepper and cheese. Stir until cheese melts completely.