Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese – Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese isn’t a dish; it’s a journey back, to simpler times. This comforting side dish carries the flavors of cheeses, perfectly cooked macaroni and a harmonious blend of seasonings that create an orchestra of taste in your mouth. Featuring ingredients like elbow macaroni, an assortment of cheeses including cheddar, mild cheddar, mozzarella and American cheese as well as whole milk and heavy cream this recipe is a decadent delight for anyone seeking the timeless comforts of homemade goodness.
I can still vividly recall the first time I prepared this Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese. It was a chilly evening. I craved something cozy and satisfying. As the enticing aromas filled my kitchen, my husband walked in with anticipation sparkling in his eyes. However, the true test came from my child who usually has discerning taste buds. As we gathered around to enjoy our meal together there was a silence followed by the sound of satisfaction; “Mom this is the most incredible mac and cheese ever!” That moment filled me with joy and blissful contentment—solidifying this recipe as a favorite, in our household.
What makes this Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese truly exceptional?
What makes this Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese truly exceptional is its flavor profile and texture. The combination of cheeses creates an intricate taste while the slightly undercooked noodles give it a delightful consistency that’s not overly mushy. This dish is incredibly versatile making it ideal, for family gatherings, potlucks or any event where comforting food is desired. Additionally, it’s conveniently simple to prepare in advance guaranteeing a side dish whenever it’s needed.
What You Need To Make This Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese Recipe?
Elbow Macaroni: We choose elbow macaroni because it’s a timeless and classic option that gives us those feelings we crave. Its shape is perfect, for capturing and holding onto the cheese sauce ensuring each bite is as delightful as the last one.
White Cheddar Cheese: The white cheddar brings an intricate flavor to the dish. It’s not just about the creaminess; it adds a depth of taste that sets this recipe apart. Since we’re dividing it you’ll experience that sharpness both inside and as a golden crust on top.
Mild Cheddar Cheese: Mild cheddar contributes to the melty goodness of our mac and cheese. It balances out the sharpness of the white cheddar making sure the dish is rich without being overwhelming.
Mozzarella Cheese: We all adore that moment when you lift your forkful of mac and cheese and witness those strings of melted cheese. Mozzarella is the ingredient behind this experience.
American Cheese: While American cheese may seem like an unusual choice it’s actually essential for achieving that creamy and dreamy texture we desire. It melts perfectly. Adds a creaminess to our mixture.
Cream Cheese: Cream cheese is what elevates this recipe from great, to extraordinary – it’s our ingredient! Adding a layer of depth and ensuring the sauce achieves a velvety texture is essential.
Whole Milk and Heavy Cream: The combination of whole milk and heavy cream results, in a creamy sauce that beautifully coats the macaroni. It’s the epitome of comfort food.
Eggs: Eggs play a role in binding all the ingredients. They contribute to a creamy sauce that maintains its consistency without separating or becoming greasy.
Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder: This quartet of seasonings collaborates harmoniously to elevate the flavors of the cheeses and create a balanced taste profile. They provide depth and warmth, to the dish ensuring each bite is bursting with flavor.
Steps To Make Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese:
Step 1: First things first, preheat your oven to a cozy 350˚. We want everything to cook evenly and get that delicious crust on top.
Step 2: Grab your macaroni and give it a good cook, just follow what the package says but be a rebel and take it off 2 minutes early – we want them a tiny bit firmer.
Step 3: In a big ol’ mixing bowl, toss in half of your shredded white cheddar, all the mozzarella, all your American cheese chunks, and that oh-so-soft cream cheese. Give it a good mix; think of it as a cheesy workout.
Step 4: Now, in something with a spout (trust me, it’ll make your life easier), mix together your milk, cream, and eggs. Throw in the seasonings and give it a good whisk. You want those eggs feeling right at home in there.
Step 5: Pour your milky mix right over the cheese party in the bowl. Don’t be shy; make sure everybody gets introduced.
Step 6: Your pasta should be just about perfect now. Save some of that pasta water (½ cup should do it) and then drain those noodles.
Step 7: Mix your slightly firm macaroni into the cheesy goodness. If it’s looking a bit tight, add a splash of that pasta water you saved.
Step 8: Now, grab a baking dish and grease it up. Pour in your mac and cheese masterpiece and smooth it out. Sprinkle the rest of your white and yellow cheddar on top.
Step 9: If you’re prepping this for later, this is where you press pause and pop it in the fridge. If not, cover it with foil and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes.
Step 10: After those 30 minutes, let it breathe. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes, but keep an eye on it towards the end. You’re looking for a golden, bubbly top.
Step 11: Once it’s reached perfection, take it out and let it rest a few minutes. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.
To take your Macaroni and Cheese recipe, to the next level consider incorporating a teaspoon of Dijon mustard into the cheese and milk mixture before combining it with the pasta. This special ingredient enhances the cheesy flavors and adds a tanginess. Brings out the deliciousness of the dish without overpowering it. It’s a detail that can truly transform your mac and cheese from good, to unforgettable. Just keep in mind that a little bit of mustard goes a long way so start with a teaspoon. Adjust according to your personal preference.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Definitely! Simply follow the recipe until it’s time to bake cover it with foil and refrigerate.
Can I use different cheeses for this recipe?
Of course! Feel free to get creative with your cheeses as long as they melt well.
What’s the secret to a creamy mac and cheese?
The secret lies in the combination of cheeses slightly undercooking the pasta and using whole milk and cream. These elements create a velvety mac and cheese.
My name is Natasha and I am the owner of nodashofgluten.com, a blog dedicated to all kinds of recipes. On my website, you can find classic dishes, vegetarian delights, creative snacks, Gluten-free recipes, and desserts – all proving that cooking isn’t as hard as it seems! With easy-to-follow instructions and tips on how to make your meals even better, I strive to help everyone become master chefs in their own kitchen. Come join me at nodashofgluten.com for some delicious fun!