Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day 28: My Most Favorite Food!

I will let John have the blog in a minute, but I just want to say this is my favorite meal. I can't remember the first time he made it for me, but he ruined me forever for all other mac and cheese recipes.  It is the ultimate comfort food and is just a smooth, cheesy bowl of love.  

Now here's John to tell you how he makes love. Uh..that didn't come out right.  Here is his recipe!

Whoa! OK...let me show you how to satisfy my wife...Get your mind out of the gutter!!!
Today, I found some wonderful Earl Campbell hot links in the freezer. I discovered these many years ago, and you can't get them in Iowa. My dad brought them back from Texas for me. 3 left. And more comfort food with my homemade Mac & Cheese.
When I was in college, my roommates and I ate a lot of Kraft Mac & Cheese. By the end of the year, I was tired of it. I wanted some REAL mac & cheese. My roommate Bill said, "I know how to make that. It's really awesome".
My hopes were very high...and I ended up very disappointed.
Bill's awesome mac & cheese was a bowl of cooked macaroni, covered with a cup of milk and 3 slices of processed cheese on top, then baked. Not my idea of awesome. I knew what I wanted, and that wasn't it.
My sister Julie said she had a recipe I should try. I made it, and it was just what I was looking for. I tweaked it over the years, and still adjust it a little to this day.
WARNING: This dish is not healthy. This dish is addictive. When your plate is empty, you will want just a little more. And if there are any leftovers, this dish heats up great the next day.

Let's make some mac & cheese! Today's ingredients...

As the large elbow macaroni is boiling, heat up a large, deep pan and melt 1 stick of butter (I told you it's not healthy!).

When melted, whisk in 1/2 cup of flour and cook for a couple minutes.

Now, the non-measurable part. Whisk in milk until the white sauce is thick and creamy...but not too thick.

It probably ends up being somewhere between a quart and a half gallon of milk.

Now it's time to add the cheese. Stevie always comes running when he hears me open the bag of shredded cheese. So he always gets a small pinch of cheese!

One 8-ounce bag of shredded mild cheddar and one 8-ounce bag of shredded sharp cheddar go into the white sauce and mix it up until melted.
NOTE: I only use real cheese. I do NOT believe in Velveeta or any "processed cheese food product". Never..never ever! :)

Mix it all up...

All mixed up and ready to add to the macaroni.

Macaroni, waiting for the cheese sauce...

Mix it in...

Pour it into a greased casserole dish. I always save a little of the sauce to pour over the top, along with a little more shredded co-jack cheese. Again, this is not a healthy dish! But it's really awesome tasting. And we only eat it a few times a year!

Into the 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes, until brown & bubbly.

Heating up the hot link sausages in a this layer of water, covered.

Mac & cheese is out of the oven, brown & bubbly.

Hot links are hot and spicy. Let's eat!

THAT is a plate of goodness, right there. And since this recipe makes a lot of mac & cheese, there's enough leftovers for several more meals. Now, time to eat!