November 27, 2005

World's Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Full to the brim with fat and cholesterol, this recipe is as good tasting as it is bad for you. Feel free to do any substitutions to the straight milk products to bring the fat content down -- the taste will suffer very little. Do not, however, substitute low-fat cheeses -- those things don't melt worth a damn.

Use any pasta shapes of your choosing -- the classic American choice is elbow macaroni which is both boring and in my eyes, wrong. You want something that'll hold some of the cheese when you dig your fork in and surprise your guests when they eat it, so go with some good short cut shape like fusilli (corkscrews), farfalle (bow ties), conchiglie/pipe (sea shells) or orecchiette (tiny cups).

This is a recipe that is so spectacular that not only will it, very likely, make people become blasphemous when they eat it ("GODDAMN THIS IS GOOD!"), but you'll find that your life will forever be divided into the "before" (aka "the bad time") and "after" (aka "enlightenment" or "yum-bo") of your having it.

Be prepared for some psychological fall-out associated with eating this along the lines of "I can't believe I was eating something else all these years." This mental state is nothing leftovers won't cure.

(5/3/15 addendum
i've since backed-off on the worcestershire sauce in this recipe and only use 1t, instead of 2.  i think the flavor of W is too profound relative to the other tastes.  you can/should play around with it yourself, but i've had good results omitting it entirely.

1T Olive oil
1c Heavy cream
1c Half-and-half
2 Egg yolks
1/2t Nutmeg
2c (8 oz) Extra-sharp cheddar (grated)
2c (8 oz) Fontina (grated)
2c (8 oz) Parmesan (grated)
2t Worcestershire sauce
1/2t Pepper
3c (12 oz) Any pasta shape of your choosing
1c Bread crumbs (optional)

Yield: This recipe feeds eight people easily as a side dish.

Cheese note: If you have trouble finding fontina, you can just up your amounts of parmesan and cheddar, or even add something like a Gruyere swiss. The dish is much better with the fontina, though. Do not use goat cheeses (unless that yakky taste really appeals to you). Even if you're turned off by sharp cheddar, you should use it -- the sharpness drops significantly on baking/mixing, but keeps a distinct cheese flavor (a trait many mac and cheeses lack).

1. Heat oven to 400ยบ.

2. Grease a large casserole dish (3-to-4 quarts).

3. Cook pasta according to instruction for your chosen shape al-dente (you can skip forward and start #4 while this is cooking). Toss pasta in olive oil when finished to prevent sticking, coat more evenly with cheese and ramp the taste slightly.

4. Combine cream, half-and-half, egg yolks and nutmeg in a good-sized sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1-1/2 cups of each of the cheeses. Stir frequently until all cheese is melted (about 10 minutes), being sure not to let it boil (boiling causes the cheese to "break" and gives it a distinct broken-down rubbery feel). Add Worcestershire sauce and pepper.

5. Place cooked pasta in the casserole dish, and coat with melted cheese mixture. sStir a bit to make sure everything is well-coated.
6. Sprinkle remaining uncooked cheese on top.

7. Bake for 15 minutes.

8. If adding bread crumbs, sprinkle them on top when the edges have turned golden brown, and crank the oven up to broil for about a minute. If you're not using bread crumbs, just keep cooking until the top is golden brown. serve hot.

Please leave a comment here if you make this recipe.


Blogger Captain Hops said...

I will be making this as soon as the leftovers are gone. I am a strong believer in avoiding any macaroni and cheese that comes out of a box.


Monday, November 28, 2005 8:32:00 AM  
Blogger oooh la la liz said...

this is not a breach of "contract," but, seriously, is it as good as the creamery's mac?

inquiring minds would like to know...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 2:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this yesterday... It was good, but it wasn't what I was hoping it would be. I was hoping to find a replacement for the Mac & Cheese at Planet Dailies (in Vegas)

Monday, June 25, 2007 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Carmen said...

I'm not expecting a response... but as an avid cook am often looking at other peoples recipes for tips and hints on improving my already own masterpieces! This recipe is fabulous!!! It's pretty much like mine, I have a few additional ingredients but certainly love and agree with you regarding the use of cheeses! I guess I just wanted to say hello form one happy cook to another : ) X Carmen

Saturday, May 17, 2008 3:03:00 AM  
Blogger Boo said...

I attended a Thanksgiving dinner yesterday where this recipe was served and it was OUT OF CONTROL DELICIOUS. I can't wait to make it myself.

Friday, November 28, 2008 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Seed Beader said...

FIVE STAR--This recipe is the best!
I used De Cecco Fusilli pasta cooked 12 minutes and Sargento cheeses: 6 cheese Italian, Classic Sharp Cheddar, Grated Parmesan, plus I added 1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan in body and 1/4 cup on top.
I was shocked that my husband, who is the pickiest eater and lives on cream and butter, spent 1/2 hour in the garbage this morning looking for the packing I had thrown out. He said, "Write down the product names, ingredients and exactly what you did. Make really sure you know how to make that Mac again. It was the best I've ever had and I want it again."

Thank you for making my dinner such a winner. The garbage was a first in 30 years :)

Friday, September 25, 2009 6:22:00 AM  
Blogger ak40sarah said...

Oh my goodness...I just made this mac & cheese and it was by FAR the best I've ever had. And I've had some fancy mac & cheese. Delish! Merci beaucoup!

Saturday, January 02, 2010 3:26:00 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I made this receipe and it was awesome! The kids got a kick out of knowing that is was the world's best mac and cheese. They all loved it. It was really rich. This will be my go to recipe from now on. Thanks!

Monday, June 28, 2010 9:12:00 AM  
Blogger melirt said...

I made this sinful dish for a Sunday School class get together. Everyone loved it! I altered it a little by adding more cheese and a Town House cracker/butter topping. Even though I warned everyone that it may win them a trip to the cardiologist, they still went back for seconds and asked for the recipe. They said they didn't know if it was the best in the world but it was definitely the best they had ever had! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe!

Saturday, August 28, 2010 5:17:00 AM  
Blogger Joia Poort said...

I made this for our annual family "cook-off". The category this year was "baked pasta". I'm guessing it's no surprise that this recipe was the winner! I did add 2c diced ham to it. Thanks for posting this!

Sunday, September 26, 2010 9:09:00 PM  
Blogger Aymi Davis said...

I have been making this for 4 years now, and is always a hit. Everyone wonders how it has
"flavor", since most mac and cheese recipes are bland as hell. We use organic, good quality cheese. I use 16 ounces (instead of 12) of conchiglie pasta from Earth Fare, and add 1/2 cup of half and half with a tad extra cheddar and Parmesan. That way, I don't have an extra 4 ounces of pasta that just sits in the pantry. I leave off the breadcrumbs as this is a mac and cheese recipe that can stand on it's own.

Saturday, January 02, 2016 9:12:00 AM  
Blogger Aymi Davis said...

Oh, and I use Fontina, Extra Extra Sharp cheddar and Parmesan...

Saturday, January 02, 2016 9:16:00 AM  

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