Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Macaroni & Cheese

Adapted from The Frances Virginia Tea Room Cookbook by Mildred Huff Coleman

Serves 4 to 6

I once went to a dinner party in Cleveland at the home of Ruth Danziger, Polly's mother. She had people over on a Sunday afternoon after they had all been to the Symphony. She served chicken salad, macaroni and cheese, a huge tossed salad, and toasted buttered pita bread. Everybody had a great time, loved the food, and ate everything. The macaroni and cheese, in particular, disappeared at an alarming rate. That was when I decided to find a good recipe for macaroni and cheese.

This is another recipe found by Carolyn. Everybody always loves his or her recipe for Macaroni and Cheese, and there's no exception here. I absolutely think this one is the best of all. It's baked and custardy, not macaroni cooked in a cheddar cheese sauce, which I don't like at all. When I want pasta in a cheese sauce, I make Guiliano Hazan's recipe for Fettuccine All'Alfredo from his sadly out-of-print, I can't understand why, book,
The Classic Pasta Cookbook.

4 oz. uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cups whole milk
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
8 ounce sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter (I usually leave this out)

Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until slightly underdone, and drain. Set aside. Beat the milk, egg, and salt together. Cut the cheese in small cubes. Mix the cooked macaroni, egg mixture, and cheese together, and put into a greased casserole. I use a flat Pyrex baking dish. Dot the top with butter, if you're using it. Bake at 350 degrees until firm and lightly brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

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