Saturday, March 22, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese

Now I dont claim to have any special recipe for macaroni and cheese--just a good one. I am making a big pan of it for tomorrow's Easter ham dinner and thought I would share it with you. Along with a few fun facts about one of America's favorite comfort food dishes.

Did you know that President Thomas Jefferson first served mac 'n' cheese at the White House in 1802? Before then it was known as an English dish of macaroni baked with cheese and cream.

Did you know that Kraft first marketed their neon orange style boxed mac 'n' cheese in 1937? It was an instant success in the US and Canada.

Did you know that Crayola has a crayon color named "Macaroni and Cheese"? This orange-hued wax wonder was first introduced in 1993.

Here goes my rendition:

From the Pantry

For about 15 people (Halve for more "normal" servings!)

2 lbs ready-cut macaroni (or ziti)

2 sticks butter, sliced

1 pound block sharp cheddar cheese

8 oz block creamy havarti cheese

1-2 cups half and half

1 cup panko bread crumbs

salt and pepper

Cook macaroni as package directs and drain. Grate cheddar cheese and cube havarti cheese. Pour cooked, hot macaroni in large pan. I always spray my pan with Pam first- even disposable pans as it makes serving easier. Combine grated and cubed cheese with hot macaroni. Add sliced butter- dot butter on top of pasta and cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and flatten/smooth out top. Pour 1/2 and 1/2 (or whole milk) over mixture until you can just see liquid coming to the top of the macaroni mixture. Sprinkle liberally with panko bread crumbs all over top. Bake in 350 degree oven, uncovered, for about 40-45 minutes.

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