2018-07-11 / Community View

MAC & CHEESE DAY

One of the classic comfort foods earns a place of honor on It is National Mac and Cheese Day!

July 14.

Cheesy Goodness

Made with macaroni noodles, cream or milk, and the golden goodness of cheese, mac and cheese shines as a side dish but can stand on it’s own as a main dish as well. From the classic mac and cheese with cheddar or American cheeses to the spicy cowboy mac with bacon and jalapenos, there’s a combination for everyone. Mix up the cheeses or load up on seasonings, set the broiler for a couple of minutes at the end of the cooking time and let the cheese get a nice toasty crust.

History of Mac and Cheese

The exact origin of macaroni and cheese is unknown, though it most likely hails from Northern Europe, with the earliest known recorded recipe being scribbled down in 1769. A staple of American cuisine, the creamy combo made its way to the United States courtesy of Thomas Jefferson, who, while visiting France, became enamored of fashionable pasta dishes served there. He brought back noodle recipes and a pasta machine, since this foodstuff was unavailable in the Colonies. As president, he served macaroni and cheese at an 1802 state dinner.

Kraft Foods introduced its boxed macaroni and cheese in 1937, when America was in the throes of the Great Depression. The product could serve four for 19 cents, and the company sold 8 million boxes of its quick-and-easy macaroni and cheese in a year. With rationing in effect during World War II, the boxed mix continued to gain in popularity; staples such as fresh meat and dairy were in short supply. It’s now the standard incarnation of the dish, and along with ramen noodles, the Kraft Dinner (as it’s known in Canada) is a mainstay of college student cuisine.

Home-Style Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe by: Janet “A Cheddar and cream cheese sauce with a touch of Dijon is mixed with macaroni pasta, topped with breadcrumbs, and baked.”

• 7 ounces elbow macaroni
• 1/4 cup butter
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 cups milk
• 1 (8 ounce) package cream
cheese 4 slices
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste

• 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese1
• 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh
parsley

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the
boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8
to 10 minutes. Drain.
3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir flour
into melted butter and cook until smooth and bubbling, about 1 minute.
Mix milk, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, black pepper, and salt into
flour-butter mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened,
about 5 minutes. Mix macaroni and Cheddar cheese into sauce; pour into a
2-quart casserole dish.
4. Mix bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons butter, and parsley together in a bowl;
spread over macaroni and cheese.
5. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

Recipe by: erinrhodes813 “A fun and easy recipe that the kids and guests will love! It’s super cheesy and absolutely one of my faves. No need for spoons with this mac dish!!”

• 1 (7.25 ounce) package macaroni and cheese mix
• 2 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup milk
• 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
• 3/4 cup pimento cheese spread
• 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
• 2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
• 4 eggs
• 3 tablespoons milk
• 4 cups peanut oil for frying, or as needed

1. Fill a pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the macaroni, and return to
a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the macaroni is cooked through but still firm to the bite,
about 7 minutes. Drain. Stir in the 2 tablespoons butter, the 1/4 cup milk, and the cheese packet from the
package.
2. While the macaroni is still hot, stir in the Cheddar cheese, pimento cheese spread, and Italian cheese blend, and
continue to stir until melted. Place the macaroni and cheese mixture in a container and refrigerate until firm,
about 4 hours.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the macaroni mixture from the refrigerator, and, using a
cookie scoop, scoop into balls. Place mac balls on the prepared baking sheet and freeze for at least 2 hours.
4. Heat oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
5. Whisk the bread crumbs with the paprika, chili powder, black pepper, sugar, and cayenne in a shallow dish; set
aside. Beat the eggs with the 3 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Remove the mac balls from the freezer, coat
in the egg wash, and then dredge in breading.
6. Fry the mac balls in small batches until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain briefly on a paper towel-lined plate;
serve hot.

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