Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Macaroni and Cheese – for Holidays Only

Macaroni and Cheese - for Holidays Only
10 - 12 Servings
1 pound box elbow macaroni
4 quarts water
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon basil, ground

1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cups (1 lb.) pepper jack cheese
6 cups (1 1/2 lbs.) NY or WI  Xtra-Sharp cheddar cheese


Heat oven 350 degrees
Cook macaroni until it's al dente:  In a large pot, pour in 4 quarts of water, add salt, granulated garlic and granulated onion and bring to a boil.
Once water is boiling, add the macaroni, stir and bring the water back up to a boil.
Remove the pot from the heat and cover. Let the pot sit covered and undisturbed until the cooking time stated on the box is reached. Approximately 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, add the milk and butter heating just long enough to melt the butter.
Once the cooking time has elapsed on the macaroni, drain it and return it to the pot.
Add the paprika, basil and sea salt, mix thoroughly.
Add the warm milk and mix thoroughly.  Add the cheese and mix until well combined.
The cheese does not necessarily have to be melted, just make sure it is well distributed
throughout the dish. Mixture should be moderately moist, if needed add more milk.
Taste for flavor and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Transfer mixture to a baking dish.
Cover dish with plastic wrap and then cover with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the
foil and plastic wrap and bake uncovered another 15 minutes or until the casserole is slightly
browned on the top and all of the milk is absorbed.


  1. That's why my mac and cheese don't come out right. I use mild cheddar and its alwyas store brand. it's all in the cheeez

  2. Tasha. I almost always use Cracker Barrel cheese or other known brands. It costs more, but the quality of your macaroni and cheese really does depend on the cheese you use. And yes, the sharper the better. You can do this recipe without the pepper jack, but that adds heat. It's a new age twist to the way momma and them did it.

  3. Your're right, it is the cheese. I put emphasis on New York and Wisconsin Extra Sharp Cheddar because my taste buds tell me that WI produces the best cheddar and NY is a close second!


  4. We made your cornbread stuffing,sweet potatoes , soup,mash potatoes ,cranberry sauce ,gravy and turkey it all came out quite delicious. Every one really enjoyed the meal. Especially the turkey cooked by my 18 year old granddughter.Thanks a million.And by the way we had four generations in the kitchen cooking.So what's on the menue for Christmas/Kwannza

    Larrie S

  5. WoW Larrie sounds like a memorable family feast. We keep telling people that even non-cookers can whip out a perfect turkey if they use the brown bag method. Not that we're calling your grand daughter a non-cooker, but most folks don't tackle the turkey until they absolutely have to which is around age 25. . . As for Christmas/Kwannza we recommend you start practicing now. We've got lots of great ideas on the holiday cooking page. Bon appetit!