Mom’s Mac and Cheese

Funny thing is when  I was a kid, I didn’t like the cheese crust this recipe gets under the broiler. I would only eat the macaroni and cheese under it. As I grew older, tastes change and I finally joined the rest of the family and friends who are madly in the love with the crusty cheese top. My Mom has been making this recipe minus the French fried onions for some 55 years. The cheese used is found in the dairy case of many supermarkets across the USA. It has a black wrapper. It use to have a raccoon on the label but was bought out by a popular brand I think about 20 years ago. A lot of grocery stores in South Jersey, have two cheese areas, one in dairy and the other near the deli section which has the gourmet cheeses. In my opinion, no other cheese will do, as I have tried others when I wasn’t able to get it. The photos actually are small baking dishes where I split the recipe in half. When company comes, I normally make this in a 9″x 9″ square baking dish. I usually cook extra macaroni and keep an extra brick of cheese on hand in order to refresh any leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • I pat of butter
  • 1.5 cups whole grain macaroni (cooked)
  • 1.5 ounce extra sharp cheese (I use Cracker Barrel Aged Reserve Cheddar)
  • 1 cup milk (whole works best, although I have used 2%)
  • 1 cup French fried onion rings (optional)

Directions:

  1. Use the pat of butter with a paper towel and grease the baking dish discarding any left over butter
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Place a layer of cooked macaroni on the bottom of the baking dish.
  4. This is your choice as: Slice cheese in 1/8″ slices or shred it. (I do it either way, but mostly I slice it.)
  5. Add a layer of cheese on top of macaroni.
  6. Then add more macaroni and layer it with cheese on the top.
  7. Add milk pouring it carefully all over the top layer of cheese. (The milk will sink to the bottom).
  8. I place the baking dish in another larger pan lined with foil in order to keep the oven clean should the cheese bubble over the edge, plus it is easier to take it out of the oven.
  9. Place mac and cheese in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Then put it under the broiler for 5 minutes or until cheese melts and browns to desired color.
  11. Remove from oven and while it is cooling add the French fried onion rings to the top.

Preparation Time:   20 minutes    /  Baking Time:  15 minutes  /                                Broiling Time: 5 minutes   / Servings: 8-10

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