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REAL Macaroni and Cheese


submitted by sarahjane on May-23-06
average rating: 4.0 (from 1 votes)
(this recipe is good for dinner)
(this recipe is suitable for vegetarians)
servings: 4-6

This is in fact, John Thorne's extremely (and quite properly) American recipe, italics and all.  For those who haven't heard of him, Thorne has a food newsletter called "Simple Cooking" and has also published a number of books.  If you are dubious upon reading this version, I should point out that it has been canonized by the very authoritative The Best Recipe, which after testing many version, decided Thorne's was indeed the best.

I quote his recipe in total because I like his opinionated prose:

"A good dish of macaroni and cheese is hard to find these days.  The recipes in most cookbooks are not to be trusted.  In some instances this is because they refuse to leave well enough alone, vulgarizing the dish with canned cream of celery soup or a dollop of port wine cheese spread.  But most usually it is their vexatious infatuation with white sauce, a noxious paste of flour-thickened milk, flavored with a tiny grating of cheese.  It is the basis for the familiar crumb-topped casserole baked in a Pyrex lasagne pan, a casserole universally bland, dry and rubbery.  Contrary to popular belief, this is not macaroni and cheese.  It is macaroni and cheese sauce.  It is awful stuff, and every cookbook in which it appears should be thrown out the window.

"Of course, despite any effort on my part, that recipe will remain the popular one.  It is cheap to make and pretty to look at.  Real macaroni and cheese is unkempt.  It is also generous with cheese, using at least four times more than what is put in cheese sauce.  The recipe below, the real recipe, lives a life of exile in its own country...biding its time in the few homes willing to grant it sanctuary, awaiting the counterrevolution."


1 375g package whole wheat macaroni
2 large eggs, beaten
1370 ml can fat free evaporated milk [I have tried it with normal milk and evaporated really is better]
1 dash Tobasco or similar hot sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
340 g sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
Salt and pepper

Boil macaroni until just barely done in salted water
Drain, return to pot
Combine eggs, milk, tobasco, dry mustard
Add to macaroni and stir
Gradually add cheese, stirring until cheese has completely melted.

If you like yours with the bread crumb topping, The Best Recipe suggests you pour the macaroni into a gratin pan and top with:

1 cup bread crumbs mixed with 2 tbsps butter

Run under the broiler until top is just browned.

Goes very nicely with a spinach salad.


steveandsarah, May-30-06 01:07:03:
rating:
I believe we've actually made this recipe before--it, or a version of it, was published in the NYTimes food section a while ago. We are also not fans of white sauce, and I also am often disappointed with mac 'n' cheese not being cheesy enough. This recipe hits the spot. It is powerfully cheesy.

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