Paula Deen’s Mac & Cheese
Not long ago I bought the cookbook, “Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible”. How could I not? As a Georgia peach, it’s practically required to at least enjoy Paula Deen’s recipes if not adore her. I’m the later. Say what you will about her “hot pickle” that she got into, but I think we can all agree that the woman can cook. Half of her recipes are butter, butter, and more butter, while the other half are lean, mean, and deliciously healthy. This recipe…. well it falls in the former category.
You see, my daughter has been asking me to make a batch of macaroni and cheese. For weeks I’ve ignored her request, not to be mean mind you, but I’m not a huge mac & cheese girl. When I was younger I practically lived on the stuff. And when I was a child I vividly remember eating it at friends’ houses and then learned to “cook” it myself. I say cook, but really is it cooking if you just boil water, cook pasta, and toss in that powdered cheesy packet? Anyways, I’m not a huge fan of macaroni and cheese. It can be heavy, and bland. But…. I looked at my daughter’s pleading eyes and just couldn’t resist. I knew that if I was going to make macaroni and cheese I wanted to make Paula’s mac & cheese. So here I am!
Now I’m going to level with you: her recipe was surprisingly bland to me. Maybe I’m used to Asian flavors, so my tongue expects a punch of garlic, lemongrass, or scallions. You’re not going to find that here. Instead, this macaroni and cheese is a basic template for whatever else you want to add. For example: this recipe only calls for Cheddar cheese. But, to add more flavor you could do a combination of 1 cup Cheddar and 1 cup smoked Gruyere. You can also add a can of tuna into the bake, or add some delicious, steamed broccoli or frozen peas! Think of this recipe as a blank slate for you to make it your own. Enjoy creating your own version of macaroni & cheese everyone, and keep on cooking! ❤
Yields: 4 to 6 generous servings
- 2 cups elbow macaroni (8 ounces)
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup whole milk or evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch baking dish.
- In a large pot of boiling salt water, cook the macaroni according to package instructions. (Mine took 10 minutes). Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Add the 2 cups Cheddar cheese and butter and stir until pasta is coated.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream, and salt. Add the egg mixture to the pasta and stir well to combine. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake until golden, about 35-40 minutes. Take the dish out of the oven and top with extra cheese then return it to the oven until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.