No offense to Ree Drummond, Alton Brown, or anyone’s southern grandmother, but no one makes Macaroni and Cheese like Paula Deen. There is something about this dish that is special; I can’t put my finger on it, but I just know that I want to eat the entire 9×13 pan myself. The next time you are craving comfort food, make this recipe. Your taste buds will thank you. Although your waistline won’t. But that’s another story.
Macaroni and Cheese – Adapted from Paula Deen Celebrates
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup whole milk
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground mustard
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup sour cream
1 can (10¾ oz) condensed cheddar cheese soup
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray (or butter if you don’t like your arteries). Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water (it gives the pasta more flavor) and cook the macaroni just until tender, about 7 minutes. Do not overcook!! Drain pasta and return to pot. (Note: I suggest spraying the pot with cooking spray; it makes clean up easier.) Add 2 cups of the cheese to the hot, cooked pasta and stir until all the cheese is melted.
In a measuring cup combine the milk, eggs, and seasonings; mix well. Add the milk mixture, the soup, the sour cream, and the butter to the pasta and cheese. Stir until everything is incorporated and mixed well. The mixture will look rather soupy.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven, top with remaining cheese, and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the mac and cheese is cooked through. Allow to sit for 5 minutes (if you can!) just so the pieces cut better. Serve to people who like fatty foods and/or things that taste amazing.
Food for thought: Once I tried to make this “lightened up” by using whole wheat pasta, skim milk, light sour cream, 1 egg, reduced-fat cheese, and Smart Balance in place of butter. It tasted okay, but it didn’t have the same creaminess and deliciousness that the original recipe has. So treat yourself on the very rare occasion to this amazing creation and enjoy every single bit.
Picture courtesy of Paula Deen’s website.