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If you're like me, you're always on the quest for the 'perfect' mac and cheese. Now, I've eaten a lot of mac and cheese because it's the ultimate comfort food, and my family and I love it, but I had never found the penultimate recipe for it...always on the search...well, I think I may just have come up with it! Using the mac and cheese recipe posted at the splendidtable.com as a jumping-off point, I devised this version which is rich, creamy, super-cheesey, and inordinantly delicious. I can certainly be significantly lightened down by using low-fat milk and cheeses.
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 3 cups milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- 3⁄4 teaspoon dry garlic granules (NOT garlic salt) or 2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
- 5 drops hot sauce
- 1⁄3 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, beaten to blend
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated asiago cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese or 1 cup monterey jack cheese
- 3⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Boil elbow macaroni in plenty of salted water until al dente. Drain.
- Grease a 9 X 13-inch pyrex baking dish. Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Meanwhile, in a small processor, combine milk, cream cheese, mustard, garlic, hot sauce and salt.
- Pour drained pasta and milk/cream cheese mixture back into pot pasta was cooked in . Allow to 'sit' in pot for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is an important step and must not be left out as it allows the sauce to start thickening and be absorbed by the pasta and not just settle in the bottom of the baking dish. After 15 minutes, add various cheeses and beaten eggs and mix well altogether.
- Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake until golden-brown and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.
- Note: This recipe can be made even more decadent by browning 1/2 cup of dry breadcrumbs in 1 tblsp melted butter in a small skillet. Stir in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese at the end and sprinkle over mac and cheese for final 10 minutes of baking.
This is thick with cheesy goodness and we all loved it!