…coincidently, “Cheesy Goodness” is also my nickname
Last night Matt and Erin (the artists) had Matt and Jess (the neighbors) and Hubby and myself (the lavahs) over for a ham. Apparently Erin bought a large ham, and needed people to help them eat it. I asked if perhaps, just maybe, she needed some macaroni and cheese? Why yes, that would be fine says Erin. So, I jumped on the internets and found a recipe for Mac and cheese that Diane Sawyer said was her favorite, originally from a recipe by Carnie Wilson. You remember Carnie Wilson? She of the Wilson Phillips… and cue musical interlude!
“I know that there is pain, butcha. Hold on for one more day, andya. Break free, from the pain. …Ya, I know that there is pain, andya. Hold on for one more day, andya. Break free, break from the chains!”
Anyway, I’m fairly certain that she needed her gastric bypass surgery because of this recipe…
Macaroni and Cheese
3 ½ cups large elbow macaroni
10 ounces Velveeta cheese, cut into 1-inch squares
10 ounces white Vermont cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch squares
15 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded
1-2 cups of jack and cheddar cheese (combined), shredded
4 ounces cream cheese (at room temp.)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/3 cups half-and-half
2 2/3 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
A pinch teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon. kosher salt
A pinch of paprika
1) Grease a 9-inch-by-13 inch nonstick metal baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Take a picture while doing so.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3) Prepare macaroni according to the package directions, but make sure it’s al dente. It should still be a little firm. Be sure to add a pinch of salt and a dash of olive oil to the boiling water while cooking. Please note my Calphalon pot.
4) Drain pasta well and pour into the baking pan. I photoshopped an errant noodle out of this picture. But I left the dent in the sink for your veiwing pleasure.
5) In a large mixing bowl, add the heavy cream, half-and-half and sour cream; break the cream cheese into little bits as you add it to the bowl.
6) Add the egg, flour, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and onion powders, dry mustard, cayenne pepper and nutmeg; combine very well with a wire whisk to break up that cream cheese. It will look lumpy, but that’s OK. This is my favorite measuring bowl. My mother has one just like it.
7) Starting at the corners of the pasta dish, place and push down the Velveeta and white Vermont cheddar cubes. Work your way around and toward the middle (they won’t push down completely, but just smoosh them down a bit).
8) Now sprinkle the Gruyère cheese evenly over the top.
9) Gently and evenly pour that artery-clogging mixture on it, covering all areas. Gently shake the pan afterward for a sec to make sure the liquid is even. Gently!
10) Sprinkle the jack-and-cheddar combo over the mixture and sprinkle the paprika on top.
11) Put this baby in the oven (make sure your oven rack is right in the middle) and bake until brown and bubbly — approximately 30 minutes. It will be creamy in the center and more crusty on the top and edges.
The verdict? This is the best Macaroni and Cheese that I have had. Well, except Sabrina’s, ’cause that’s very good too. I know! This is the best macaroni and cheese that I have ever made.