Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Secret Ingredients {A Recipe Post}

A few years ago, a BBQ place opened up downtown, boasting delicious brisket and pulled pork, sweet potato fries and, of course, deadly macaroni and cheese. It was a few months before I was able to test it out, but my friends and family raved especially about this mac and cheese. When I finally did make it down there, I ordered some. It came, deliciously melty and fabulous, and I concentrated on what, exactly, made it so good. The secret ingredient?


Yep, that's really all I could taste. Golden cheesy goodness with a decent hit of garlic to bring that warm gooey feeling home. True comfort food.

 I kept it in mind the next time I made my go-to cheese sauce and dubiously gave it a shot. Oh my. So. Good. I mixed some up over the weekend and you'll have to forgive the lack of photos because it was really gone that fast. I pulled it out of the oven, went to grab my camera and returned to the kitchen seconds later.  My husband was standing over my masterpiece, carelessly burning himself while eating it right from the pan.  The only photo I have is one before I put it in the oven.

My southern man recommends sprinkling it with a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar and some kosher salt before digging in, but I think it's good just the way I make it, thank you very much.

Here's where the disclaimers come in: This is not, I repeat, NOT, healthy. It is not gluten free or dairy free. It is full of butter and full fat milk or half and half as well as a ton of cheese. I'm not saying you need a doctor's note to eat it, but it sure wouldn't hurt to get your affairs in order first. Proceed with caution.

Macaroni and Cheese

1/4 C butter

1/4 C flour

2 1/2 C Whole Milk or Half and Half

12 Oz Sharp Cheddar, shredded (I like Extra Sharp)

1/2 Cup Parmesan, grated, plus extra for sprinkling

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder

1 lb Macaroni Noodles, prepared.

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine, then quickly add milk/half and half. Stir continuously over medium heat until sauce thickens, adding seasoning as you stir. I use almost a teaspoon of garlic, but that may be excessive to someone else. Taste as you go and make sure it's just right for you! Once the sauce starts bubbling, remove it from heat and stir in the cheddar and parmesan.

Pour over noodles in a medium-sized casserole dish. Stir to combine and sprinkle a generous amount of the parmesan on top. Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes.

Want to make it even more delish/horrendous? Try crumbling some bacon over the top, or mix in pimentos before baking (another favorite down at the BBQ). Anything goes. Enjoy!

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  1. I LOVE homemade mac and cheese, but I've never tried it with garlic...sounds delicious. I love your disclaimer about having your affairs in order before eating. :)

  2. That's the only way to eat mac and cheese! I make a homemade one quite often. The kids love it and it goes with most everything we eat. That BBQ place "down the road" is a favorite of my husbands. We even took a huge to go order from there catering menu for a birthday party here (when I didn't want to do all the cooking). Delicious!

  3. Sounds incredibly delicious! Actually, full-fat dairy is extremely healthy for those who can tolerate dairy. Check out these links for the truth about fat and health: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/21/why-you-need-to-avoid-low-fat-milk-and-cheese.aspx, http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dairy-fat-healthy-paleo-primal/, http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.ca/2010/04/full-fat-dairy-for-cardiovascular.html, and http://chriskresser.com/the-diet-heart-myth-cholesterol-and-saturated-fat-are-not-the-enemy.

  4. On "Drive-Ins, Diners, and Dives" on the Food Network, I saw a place that put some Frank's Red Hot in their mac and cheese. I've been doing that the past couple of times and it does a lot for giving the dish a little something extra. I don't use a whole lot (the pan isn't pink :) ), but just enough where it has more flavor than just basic M&C.

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  6. I love it! So good. And the only thing better than making it yourself is not having to make it! :)

  7. Well I don't want to be responsible for someone dying a melty, gooey, delicious death!

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