a while ago i decided to make macaroni and cheese. maybe it's odd, but even at my age i had never done it.
well, REAL mac and cheese. i made mac 'n' cheez back in my college days.
so i looked at a recipe or two and settled on this one, but played pretty loose with it from the beginning.
i go ahead and toss paprika and cayenne or whatever i feel like in the roux, and i use a whole onion, which i cook a little in a pan before putting it in. sometimes i just cook them until they're transparent, and sometimes i let them caramelize a little. it's also good if you toss them in raw and let them simmer like the recipe says.
as for cheese, i use whatever cheese i have in the house. cheddar, american, swiss, jarlsberg, fontina, brie, what-have-you. i don't bother with a breadcrumb topping. maybe a little sprinkled parmesan on top if i have it handy.
this week i made one with about half american cheese and half sharp cheddar, both from cabot, which is locally made and quality cheese.
i like the smoothness of american cheese. (not pasteurized processed cheese food product, mind you)
last month i was talking with cr over a plate of this stuff and we both said that this is not the mac 'n' cheese we remember our mothers making. neither of us EVER remembers seeing our moms start with a roux.
i checked with my mom and she said she just tossed the macaroni in the dish with some milk and layers of cheese and baked it. and i remember that it was delicious.
mine is delicious, too, but a little bit of a different animal.
i am having some for dinner. it's good leftover, and it freezes well.