Macaroni And Cheese
Let’s talk about macaroni and cheese. It’s not health food, but it is a much-loved comfort dish that has been around for a long time. Kids love it, and grown-ups love to hate it–but only because they typically love it themselves and can’t resist it. To be honest, what’s not to love? It’s indeed comforting. And because it’s simple to make, kids get exposed to it all the time when young.
I grew up with two very different types of macaroni and cheese. My mom made homemade macaroni and cheese that was simple but tasty. I can close my eyes and still see the blue and white square Corningware baking pan she made it in. She always cooked it until it was a nice golden brown up top, so the top layer of noodles got good and crispy. The crispy part was my favorite. In contrast, my stepmother would make my sister and me Kraft Mac & Cheese and despite not understanding why the cheese was as orange as it was, I generally liked it too.
Like many grownups, I grew away from this old standby, particularly once I realized that such a caloric dish needed to be reserved for special occasions. To me, this also meant that when I eat it, I want it to be the really good stuff. Macaroni and cheese made a reappearance in the culinary world when chefs reintroduced this famous comfort food with a twist, like truffle and lobster. The smart concept has become “the adult Mac and cheese.”
My older son never really liked macaroni and cheese growing up, which was a bit surprising for a kid who likes cheese and pasta as much as he does. But he watched a YouTube celebrity cookout video about macaroni and cheese and asked me to make this dish. According to my son, Patty LaBelle’s recipe was the winner, beating out Gordon Ramsey–who featured cauliflower in his recipe. Although my son loves cauliflower, he was more intrigued by the more traditional, Patty LaBelle-style approach. I have to say, I agree. Sometimes you just want the traditional cheesy comfort food of your past, and this recipe is just that. This is a macaroni and cheese recipe of mine, one that I adapted to my son’s request. He wanted it mild and with a crispy buttery breadcrumb topping. According to my son, I hit the nail on the head.