Monday, October 5, 2015

Super Creamy Mac and Cheese

The pared down version of my fabulous and famous special occasion holiday macaroni and cheese. This version is the same, super creamy, gooey and rich mac and cheese, but in a smaller version, perfect for those family and church gatherings.

Super Creamy Mac and Cheese

By popular demand, I'm bringing you this pared down version of my well-loved, Big Batch, Special Occasion, Super-Creamy Macaroni and Cheese. The one I first published on my blog in December of 2008. The one that has been pinned more than 99,000 times since. And the one that I got a happy dance from David Venable when I was on QVC with my first cookbook, not once, but both times!

Over the last seven years, I've had so many letters and comments with compliments about this macaroni and cheese, so much so, that it's become a holiday tradition for a lot of Deep South Dish readers, sometimes replacing long-held family holiday recipes. You couldn't ask for a better compliment than that!

I don't make the big batch version often, because it's such a huge casserole, and also what I would consider a no-calorie-left-behind dish, both reasons that it's mostly reserved for major holidays - like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Still, many of you have grown to love it, and have asked me to pare down the holiday recipe, not only because one 4-quart baking dish full is often plenty enough for many families, but also, you wanted a version of it for those other special family occasions - like birthdays and dinner parties, or potlucks, picnics, church suppers and even funerals, where you still want something special, but don't need quite as much as the big batch recipe makes.

To distinguish it from the original big brother, I've labeled this one "super creamy" because that's just what it is - rich, gooey and super creamy - the way, at least in my opinion, a macaroni and cheese is supposed to be.

Yes, that requires a processed cheese to achieve (even Martha Stewart agrees), so if you've got a beef with American cheese or Velveeta, then this isn't the recipe for you.

For all that is holy, please don't try to use all cheddar, because you'll end up with a clumpy, curdled mess that you will be very unhappy about. Don't deviate from the recipe and you'll be thrilled. The process is the same and the same rules apply.
  • Use only the original version of Velveeta brand processed cheese - no generics, no lower fat varieties.
  • Use half and half or whole milk, not low fat or fat free.
  • Use real, pure butter - not margarine, not a butter substitute - and I highly recommend Land O'Lakes brand especially.
  • Use only block cheese that you shred yourself. Pre-shredded bagged cheese has fillers and stablizers in it that will affect the outcome of this recipe.
  • Use sharp cheddar, not mild.
Make the cheese sauce with half and half or whole milk (or even a combination of the two) and Velveeta, temper the eggs with the sauce before adding that back into the sauce, then layer in the components in a 4 quart casserole dish - elbows, seasoning, thin slices of cold butter, shredded cheese and sauce; repeat.

Bake, dig in and savor the gooey, super creaminess!

For more of my favorite pasta dishes, visit my page on Pinterest!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!

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Posted by on October 5, 2015
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