Is this really the best macaroni and cheese I ever made? YES and I have made a lot of macaroni and cheese in my lifetime! I’ve eaten a lot of macaroni and cheese, tested various recipes for macaroni and cheese, and have finally decided that this one is the best I have ever made.
There are some who like stove top mac and cheese and some who like baked mac and cheese. They each have their merits, but I prefer mine baked. Stove top tends to be cloyingly creamy, clinging to the macaroni like a thick winter coat. Baked has a firmer consistency, the elbows surrounded by a rich custard infused with shreds of cheese.
My mother’s side of the family is from Louisiana, and like any self respecting Southern family we ate macaroni and cheese at every special occasion meal, be it Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or birthdays. Not that it was reserved for special occasions, by any means. My grandmother had her recipe, my mother had hers. My late Uncle George, a retired Navy cook, had an incredible recipe, which sadly went with him when he passed. Now I finally have my own to share with my daughter.
This macaroni and cheese is very rich, with heavy cream, sour cream and eggs. This is not a dish you should eat every week. Well, you can but don’t blame me when you can’t button your pants.
Macaroni and Cheese
16 oz elbow macaroni
16 oz sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup AP flour
3 tsp sea salt
3 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/3 cups sour cream
4 cups half and half
2 cups heavy cream
Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Rinse with cool water, then drain the macaroni well. Place the macaroni into a buttered 15 inch X 9 inch casserole dish.
Grate the cheese using a food processor, or if you are a glutton for punishment or have a child to keep busy, grate the cheese using the larger holes in a box grater. Mix about 2/3 of the grated cheese into the macaroni.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, mustard, cayenne and black pepper.
Whisk the sour cream into the dry ingredients until incorporated. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the the half and half and cream. Pour the custard over the macaroni.
Top the macaroni and custard with the remaining cheese.
Bake the macaroni and cheese for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned around the edges. The custard will be a bit jiggly in the center, but firms up as it cools.
Serve your macaroni and cheese as main dish or a side dish. I made this for Easter and served it with baby back ribs. Not my traditional Easter dinner, but fabulous nonetheless! Whatever you do, enjoy!