All this talk about cold, below zero temperatures and foot upon foot of snow gets me thinking about what I really want to be doing on days like this. Staying inside, throwing Netflix on, getting cuddly in my jammies and cooking my absolute favorite snow day comfort food!
Mac and Cheese!!!
There is literally nothing better than laying on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket with a masterpiece bowl of warm, gooey, cheesy perfection this is comfort food to the max! And no I’m not talking about the Kraft Mac and Cheese in a box, I’m talking about fresh, homemade, real cheese goodness with real spices and real milk. I know everyone loves to see those cheesy strings of goodness in every bite!
This is first of all my absolute favorite food, and you know not until recently did I find this out. But I found myself literally needing macaroni and cheese in my life, it started out as just a great comfort food but has turned into a real life necessity. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s gotten the question “What’s your favorite food”? and I’m sure the normal well I really like pizza or I can’t live without a good hamburger. Those are the foods that get all the glory, but just think about what we are leaving out here, bacon, lobster, and black truffles and the list goes on. (I will mention, not only are these rare foods great on their own but they mix very well with mac and cheese 😉
I’m getting sidetracked here, back to my most favorite thing in the world! I know I’ve touched on this before but I love recipes that you can make your own where the opportunities are endless. Mac and cheese is a dish that can be made however you like all the way down to the base of the recipe, you can add as much cheese cheese as you want and what ever cheese you want! Not only that the mix-ins and toppings are endless as well, make your’s exceptionally classy by adding some lobster or crab; or put a Cajun spin on it by mixing in some spicy andouille sausage, topping it with sauteed green peppers, onions, garlic and crispy bacon! So what I’m saying here is that not only is your mom’s classic recipe fantastic there are so many ways to bring flavor, textures and creativity to this dish! These are the questions you need to be asking yourself: What kind of noodles do I want? What type of cheeses am I going to use? Am I going to have mix-ins or just toppings? How creative do I want to get with this?
In addition to this dish being so transforming, I literally don’t know anyone who doesn’t like cheese. I even know people who are lactose intolerant and they still can’t stay away from cheese. And you know what? There’s a reason why. American’s in general across the country are eating a whopping 35 pounds of cheese per year. Studies say that cheese may have the same qualities as hard drugs such as opium and heroine, it gives us the same “high” and need for more with each bite!
Every recipe for mac and cheese is exotic and delectable as the next and that got me thinking, how does the rest of the world like to make their mac and cheese? What I found was incredible, and as I suspected macaroni and cheese is not made the same in every country. I outlines a few of the favorites that I found below along with my own most famous classic recipe! From what I’ve seen we’ve been eating mac and cheese as far back as 1769, historians believe that it was initially created in Northern Europe and then made it’s way across the world. Mac and Cheese was finally introduced to America in the 1800’s by Thomas Jefferson, who while visiting in France undoubtedly fell in love with the dish and decided to bring back recipes and his own pasta maker he loved it so much that he even served macaroni and cheese at a state dinner in 1802!
And imagine this, just as much as we American’s love macaroni and cheese, people all over the world are going just as crazy as we are!
An article written by the Haley Willard of the Daily Meal said this “Traditional Egyptian mac and cheese, known as “macaroni béchamel,” calls for ground meat baked between two layers of macaroni and covered in béchamel sauce (a mixture of butter, flour, and milk) and cheese. Käsespätzle, the German version of mac and cheese is traditionally made simply with cheese and caramelized onions.
What Indian people call “desi mac” is made with tomatoes, haldi (turmeric), garlic, dhania (cilantro leaves), and cheese. In Spain, though, cheese isn’t the main ingredient in mac and cheese. The Spanish version is typically made with pork sausage, tomato sauce, and onion and then topped with grated cheese”.
My Creamy and Dreamy List!
My Classic Mac and Cheese Recipe
1 package elbow noodles
1 C sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 C mozzarella cheese
1/2 C Pepper jack cheese
4Tb of butter
1/2 C flour
1 1/2 C cream or milk
1 tsp garlic powder
1tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a large pot, add flour to create a rue. Once clumpy, add the cream, garlic and onion powder, stir and let it come to a boil. Add the cheeses, and stir until there are no more clumps and you have a nice and smooth sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Add boiled noodles and combine until all noodles are coated. Serve.
*If you want a super classy mac and cheese add mixed mac and cheese to an oven safe dish top with another layer of cheese and Italian breadcrumbs and broil for 3-4 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on it! It will come out hot,bubbly and super cheesy!
There is no doubt about it no matter where you are in the world and whoever is making it, it will always begin with past and lots of cheese! SO I ask you this, how do you make your mac and cheese!?