For me, nothing comes close to the comforting gooey goodness of macaroni and cheese. My mother would make a huge Corningware vat of it nearly every holiday, but more importantly, on those days when we just needed food to be perfect, and perfectly there for us. Her recipe wasn't fancy. It included cream and eggs and breadcrumbs extra sharp yellow cheese...and Mom's special magic.
Honestly, it had to be magic of some kind. With my best efforts I could never replicate its extraordinary taste and texture. My sister can, but I apparently don't have her gifts. However, after years of looking at recipes and trying to cook a dish my mom would be proud of, I struck cheesy gold.
Here is my take on macaroni and cheese with nods to my mom's flair for convenience and Martha Stewart's penchant for flavor bursts. The result is simple, rich and amazing.
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 stick butter
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
Large(13x9) buttered baking dish
DIRECTIONS: Cook macaroni, rinse in cold water to stop it from cooking and set aside.
Melt butter in a deep skillet or pot over medium heat. When melted whisk in flour. Keep whisking 1 minute then slowly whisk in milk. Continue cooking and whisking until it thickens. Turn off heat.
Add salt, cayenne pepper, the Gruyere, and all but a half cup of the cheddar cheese. Stir macaroni into the cheese sauce. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish. Mix bread crumbs with remaining half cup of cheddar and sprinkle over top. Bake until bubbling and golden brown (30-40 minutes). Enjoy!
Alexander's future is all set—finish law school, join the family firm, and marry someone who'd be good for business. Not that he has a say in any of it. He's barely met the woman his father expects him to marry.
As Cheyenne's musical career takes off, his carefully constructed life begins to unravel, exacerbated by an ex-lover who can't let go, a crotchety barkeeper with a dirty mind and a pure heart, a drag queen who moonlights as a nanny, and Alexander—who's not sure if he's falling for the incubus or the rocker.
Cheyenne denies who he is, while Alexander hides what he wants. Together, they learn that getting what they truly want means being who they truly are.
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Trevann, my son will be all over your mac & cheese--his favorite? So what's your favorite dessert?b