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Real-Deal Mac & Cheese

mac 2

I used to be consumed by envy watching the moms load up their shopping carts with Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese. I longed to have it in my last-minute dinner arsenal. But my kids won’t go near it — even though Mac & Cheese from a box was one of my all-time favorite things to make and eat as a kid. (Every now and then I’ll make it for myself the way my mom taught me — with some cooked ground beef thrown in. So good.) It wasn’t until last year at Hominy Grill in Charleston, SC (a temple of low-country cuisine) that I was able to convince Abby to try a bowl. It was love at first bite and, of course, now I don’t know what I was thinking: She will never touch the boxed stuff after starting on the real deal. But it does seem like a pretty good dish to have in the Comfort Food arsenal.

Macaroni & Cheese
From Hominy Grill Recipes by Robert Stehling

3 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
1 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk, heated
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F. Greas a 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Add the crumbs to the greased pan and coat sides. Shake off the excess crumbs and set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk constantly, for three minutes. Gradually add the milk, reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in pasta. Place macaroni mixture into crumbed pan and dust the top with the remaining crumbs. Bake until the top is golden and the mixture is bubbling, approximately 30-40 minutes.

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