If you have met me and had a conversation for about ohhhhh 5 minutes or so, you would find out that I grew up not eating cheese. I would remove it from my pizza and replace the toppings. I would scrape it off of the refried beans at a mexican restaurant. You couldn't pay me to eat a cheese crisp. This has gone on for 20+ years, but I am really trying to open my mind, and my taste buds, to the world of cheese again. During wedding preparations for a friend in March we grabbed a quick bite at Paradise Bakery to hold us over until the wedding rehearsal. We saw their ad for mac and cheese, and decided we just had to have it. I was feeling brave, and possible a little tipsy from the champagne, and was confident that I could not go on with the day without trying just a small bite. Oh. My. Cheese-y. Goodness. It was delicious. We were like moths to a flame. Then one of the bridesmaids found a copycat recipe for it and sent it to me...and well, here goes nothing.
Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese
- 1 lb. pasta shells
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk (or substitute half-and-half if you prefer)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp hot sauce
- 4 oz. American cheese, finely chopped
- 8 oz. white cheddar cheese
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the boxed directions. Drain well. Return the pot to the stove without the heat.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook until light golden brown, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk until no lumps remain and the mixture becomes thick. Stir in the salt and hot sauce. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook the sauce, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens some more, about 6-8 minutes.
Remove the sauce from the heat. Stir in the cheese a handful at a time, mixing until fully melts before adding more. Once all the cheese has been added and the sauce is thick and smooth, pour the sauce over the pasta in the stockpot. Mix well until the pasta is fully coated in the sauce. Serve immediately.