Southern Mac & Cheese
The creamiest macaroni and cheese you ever had! Crispy topping with luscious cheese sauce. What makes it “southern”? Who else would warm up an iron skillet to bake macaroni and cheese in?
- 2 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese Shredded
- 3/4 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
- 1/2 pound Butter
- 3 cups Heavy Cream
- 1 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
- 1/2 tsp White Pepper ((or cayenne))
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 lb Your Favorite Pasta
Start cooking your pasta according to directions and add the tablespoon of salt to the water. Stop the cooking process about about 11/2 minutes before normal time. Drain.
In a large bowl add all the shredded cheeses. Add the cornstarch, white pepper and ground mustard. Toss all together.
In a sauce pan, add the heavy cream and butter. Heat over medium heat only until butter melts. Remove from heat.
After removing the heavy cream mixture from the heat, stir the cheeses in and let set to melt.
Put a 12 inch iron skillet in the oven with a tablespoon of oil in it. Let it warm up for about 10 minutes. Mix the pasta and cheese sauce together and carefully add it to the iron skillet. (Alternative: Prepare a 9 x13 baking dish while warming oven to 350 degrees).
Recommended topping is below, but you can bake the macaroni and cheese as it is. Bake for 25 minutes or until brown on top and bubbling on the sides.
12 Ritz crackers crushed and 1/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese. Mix together and spread over the top of the mac & cheese just prior to baking.
This is not some plain old M&C with some Velveeta and milk over some overcooked elbow pasta. Here is why it is better –
- We use block cheese and shred our own cheese. Using pre-shreded cheese risks a coating that processors put on shredded cheese that keeps it from coagulating.
- We don’t use a roux. Our ingredients lead to a smooth cheese sauce that won’t break.
- The topping is crisp for a texture difference from the creamy cheese sauce.
- The heavy cream and butter add a richness and elegance to this simple dish.