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Macaroni and Cheese Supreme

Macaroni and Cheese Supreme

Here is yet another recipe where we have to warn you against "been there, done that" thinking. In fact, isn't it true that we too often pigeon hole people and things when someone assigns a negative--or even commonplace--label to them? One of the fundamental principles of semantics (the study of how language works and influences us) is that the same word used twice might refer to two very different things. You had a hamburger? Well, the meat sandwiches labeled "hamburger" vary a lot, don't they? The same is true, at least in this case, that you can't judge the macaroni and cheese based on your past experience.

All this is to say that we've created a recipe that produces stunning results--your taste buds will be shouting "Encore!" again and again. In fact, be forewarned. There is a temptation to overeat this dish. "Serves six" becomes "Serves one or two" if you're not careful. We would call it a taste sensation, but we've always been allergic to cliches.

The secret, as you will see below, lies in the three cheeses. Not just a bunch of melted cheddar cheese over elbow noodles. Oh no. This dish is made with extra sharp cheddar cheese, for that unmistakable flavor blast. But wait! There's more! The addition of some delightfully pungent Gruyere cheese adds real zest to the cheddar flavor. And then there is the feta cheese, whose tastebud tweaking flavor powerhouse is well known to chefs and salad makers everywhere. Marry these cheeses in this dish and you will no doubt yell, "Now that's what I'm talking about!"

4 cups dried macaroni
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (reserve the 1/2 cup for the topping)
2/3 heaping cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1/3 cup feta cheese (topping)


Cook the macaroni until firm.  I do not leave the macaroni in for the full cooking time; I take it out about one minute before the full cooking time and drain.  Beat the egg and set it aside.  In a large pot, melt the butter and add the flour.  Whisk together over medium-low heat.  Cook the mixture for four to five minutes, stirring to prevent burning.

Slowly pour in the milk, add the dry mustard, and whisk until smooth.  Cook the mixture for five minutes (continue stirring) until thick.  Reduce heat to low.  To temper the egg (prevents egg from scrambling), take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into the beaten egg while stirring. 

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the sauce, stirring until smooth.  Add the salt and black pepper.  Add the extra sharp cheddar cheese and the Gruyere cheese and stir to melt.  Taste the sauce and add more salt as needed.  Pour in the drained, cooked macaroni (I usually do not add the entire pot of macaroni- -I have about one cup cooked macaroni left.  You may add it to soup for a later meal) and stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into a buttered baking dish (or several small bowls) and top with feta cheese and the extra cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes until bubbly and golden on top.

Makes 6 servings.

Share this Macaroni and Cheese

Many people are like macaroni--hard, dry, and sitting on a shelf just hanging around. Some hope to be part of a salad, or a meat sauce dish. But in the hands of a Master, they can be combined with the right friends, who will transform them into part of an eagerly demanded group.

Jesus calls his followers, "the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13). They add flavor to life, showing that life can be better than it sometimes appears. So, serve up a batch or two of this simply wonderful dish, and become the Mac-and-Cheese of the earth, never in danger of losing your flavor.

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty agan? --Matthew 5:13a

Other recipes of note
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches
Very Raspberry Very Merry Coffee Cake with Chocolate
Spinach and Bacon Quiche
Lemon Cupcake Surprise
Quadruple Chocolate Brownies
Intensely Lemon Cookies
Macaroni and Cheese Supreme

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