17 August 2005

Best Damn Mac And Cheese In The Entire Freakin' Universe. Or So They Tell Me.

Not for the faint of heart. Posted by Picasa


Teresa's birthday was yesterday, so I whipped up her favorite dish, which is of course my famous three-cheese Mac and Cheese. Since it was received with such laud and honor (the present company demanded that I crown it with a laurel wreath), I've decided to do something that I almost never do, which is publish one of my personal recipes.

I fully understand that doing so may get me in Dutch with the FDA or the AMA or one of those other agencies that try to safeguard some of our less-than-mentally-adroit citizens from expiring due to their own dietary negligence and misadventure, viz., eating D-cell batteries and the like. The fat content of this dish is alone enough to cause even the stoutest heart among us to seize up and shudder to a stop, the sodium content notwithstanding. That said, by way of illustration, a small-enough dose of strychnine will cause nothing more than ennui, so why not have just a little taste and leave the worrying to the eggheads? So here you go. Indulge. Just do so with the caveat that a serving of this dish no larger than a baby's fist is probably more than enough to kill you. Bon apetit!!



1 pound dry elbow macaroni

8 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
4 cups whole milk

Salt to taste (more than a pinch, less than a fistful)
Black pepper to taste (more than a pinch, less than the GNP of Indonesia)
1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
About yay-much paprika

8 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces shredded Jack cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Panko breading - enough to cover your ass with
Diced garlic - enough to please the gods
More Parmesan
More paprika


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you have some beer, drink one. Put on a Taj Mahal album. Start some water boiling in the biggest damn pot you have.

Now - melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Let the roux get brown if you're feeling that adventurous. Pour in the milk and continue whisking like an absolute madman so that it doesn't scorch or stick to the pan. Sooner or later it will thicken to a creamy consistency, or it just might not just to piss you off. If it does boil, it'll sputter like a mud-filled caldera and blister your forearms if you're not careful. If it does not boil, but thickens up nice anyway, then immediately whisk in the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, mustard and paprika.

Take the dry macaroni and throw it in the boiling water. Now go back to the roux. Reduce the heat and stir in all the cheeses. Keep stirring until you have an ubelievably awesome cheese sauce. Turn off the burner. When the macaroni is just shy of al dente, drain it and rinse it with cold water.

Remember the cheese sauce? Okay, now meld the mamcaroni and the cheese sauce in the big damn pot, the one you used to boil the macaroni. Once melded, pour it all into a well-buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the diced garlic, panko breading, and additional parmesan cheese. I will not hold it against you if you also add more salt and/or paprika, or actually go completely nuts and saute the breading in butter with cayenne pepper and garlic before sprinkling it on top. Dowhatchalike.

Place the whole damn thing (which should weigh about as much as a Holstein calf by now) on the center rack of the oven and let it bake for 30-45 minutes, or until bubbling.


Cheers, and give my best to Marie.


dannynutter said...

yes yes, this is all fine and dandy, but who is going to come over to my house and cook this FOR me? huh? anyone? ideally a highly erotic and seductive vixen of youthful make and model with whom i can sample the spoils and/or fruits of her labor whilst glaring, dare i say it, clandestinely (or inclandestinely) at her buxom bottom?

Dale said...

OK. OK. that's well and good Gunn and this IS a pretty cheezy recipe that echoes down through the chambers of your heart, but where does the beer and Taj Mahal come back in? you left us bakin' it but not shakin' it.

Kelly said...

The hallmark of a great mac and cheese is its incredible artery clogging power. It sounds to me like you've got a winner here.

Perhaps in the recipe directions you should instruct people to go ahead and call the ambulance ahead of time - you know, while the oven is heating up.