The World’s Most Delicious Macaroni and Cheese

Yesterday BD celebrated his 28th birthday.  After a long day at work, his idea of a celebration was a relaxing evening at home.  I decided that I would make dinner AND do the dishes.  Hummina Hummina.  And the meal that would be most celebratory of all?  Why, Macaroni and Cheese, of course.  (I promise I’ll get back to healthier foods in my next post).  We did have it with broccoli… I’ll get to that in a bit.

First, two disclaimers/notes:

  1. The original recipe I’m working off of calls for like $60 worth of cheese.  No kidding.  I have modified it to use somewhat cheaper cheeses because I just don’t roll that way.  The recipe was passed to me by Claudia, who tells me it comes from Carnie Wilson’s cookbook.  I think my adaption below is considerably better and not *quite* as a bad for you.
  2. I use reduced fat versions of most of the cheeses, and in the recipe below, I have put an asterisk next to any ingredient which can be substituted with a reduced fat version without compromising the dish.  This is an extremely flavorful and delicious macaroni and cheese recipe, and I find that the reduced fat cheeses don’t compromise the results at all – if anything, it makes the end result less greasy, which is a plus because mac and cheese should be creamy, not greasy.

The Awesome Macaroni and Cheese

  • 3 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 10 oz. velveeta cheese, cut into 1″ squares*
  • 10 oz. white cheddar, cut into 1″ squares*
  • 5 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 10 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded*
  • 1-2 c jack and cheddar cheese combined, shredded*
  • 4 oz cream cheese at room temp*
  • 2/3 c sour cream*
  • 1 1/3 c heavy cream* (you could just use all half and half, or whole milk)
  • 1 1/3 c half and half
  • 1 egg
  • 2 2/3 tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (vegetarian if you can find it)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of paprika
  1. cook pasta to al dente, drain, rinse in cool water to stop it from cooking
  2. preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9 X 13 baking dish, or two smaller ones
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together sour cream, heavy cream, half and half, cream cheese (it helps to try to break it up a little bit before), egg, flour, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg until well mixed.
  4. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheddar/jack cheese mix to use to top the casserole
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked macaroni with remaining “dry” cheeses until mixed up pretty well
  6. Pour macaroni mix into baking dish(es) and spread out evenly.  Pour wet mix over macaroni and shake gently to evenly distribute.  Top with remaining shredded cheese and sprinkle paprika over the top.
  7. Bake uncovered 40 minutes until bubbly and a bit browned

This makes about 8 servings of macaroni and cheese, so we’ll be eating it for the rest of the week/end.

To make us feel just a tad less unhealthy, I also made broccoli.  Broccoli is a great accompaniment to Mac and Cheese because you can mix everything together on your plate and its just perfect.  When I lived in New York, I used to go to this place in the east village called Mama’s that served food cafeteria style and you get like a mountain of food for $10.  My “plate” was always macaroni and cheese, broccoli, and roasted potatoes.  I would mix everything together and it was so good…. plus the leftovers would last me a week.

I decided that a little (or a lot) of garlic would be a nice addition to the broccoli, so I started a pan with a small pat of butter, some olive oil, and about 4 cloves of minced garlic.  Heated over medium low heat, the garlic just gets nice and soft and fragrant.  Go easy on the butter and oil, you don’t need a lot, just enough to give the garlic something to mix with.  In the meantime, I was steaming the broccoli – florets usually steam to al dente in about 5 minutes.

When the broccoli is steamed properly, it is a bright green color, not mushy, and still has lots of flavor.  Dump it into the pan with the garlic and take off the heat.  Stir it around until its adequately coated in the garlic/oil.

Ultimately, this is a super comforting meal.  Should you eat it every night or even every month?  No, I don’t think so.  But for a special indulgence…. can’t go wrong.

1 Response to “The World’s Most Delicious Macaroni and Cheese”

  1. 1 Claudia January 30, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Yup, its from Carnie Wilson. Here’s the link to the Good Morning America “contest” where my mom and I first spotted it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: