Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Christmas gift to you... a recipe and a post where I use the word "delicious" a lot of times!

A fool-proof recipe - my gift to you
I was blessed with the most fabulous of grandmothers... A country mouse and a city mouse who had mad skillz in the garden and in the kitchen. I loved my maternal grandmother, Grandmother Martin – a teacher who wrote sonnets and painted, but had more access to my dad's mother, Grandmother Sneed, who lived in our same town. We had countless meals at her grandmotherly abode: piles of fried chicken, stacks of ham, vats of butterbeans, gobs of buttery sweet corn pudding, mountains of fluffy yeast rolls, acres of pie... and one thing we could always count on when she cooked for us was her famous macaroni and cheese.
GM Martin

It was so gooey and delicious that I was stunned when I learned that her recipe for macaroni and cheese was simply... macaroni. and. cheese. That is, layers of cooked macaroni and sharp cheddar cheese. She must have had magic hands or something, though, because I had very little luck when I tried to recreate it. Or very little skill, more like.

GM Sneed
If you haven't gathered by now from my constant self-deprecating remarks, I am not a great cook. I do okay, but I won't be entering any contests at the State Fair anytime soon. Or ever. I'm about as domestic as... a cheetah.

Recently, though, I did find a fantastic recipe for macaroni and cheese. It's no "Grandmother Sneed's" but it's pretty freakin' delicious. It comes from Norma Jean Darden, who is a former model, restaurateur and caterer up in New York... and as a Christmas gift to you... I'm going to share this recipe with you. It is delicious, decadent, and it never fails:
It's served here.

Norma Jean Darden's Mac 'n' Cheese
(makes approximately 6 servings)

2 cups dry macaroni
2 teaspoons salt
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
2 large eggs, beaten
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a 9" X 13" baking dish.
3. Cook the pasta in boiling water with the two teaspoons salt until al dente. Drain and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and whisk in the evaporated milk until well blended. Add 2 cups of the cheese, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, melted butter. and cooked pasta.
5. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Top it evenly with the remaining cup of cheddar cheese.
6. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the custard has set and the cheese on top turns golden brown.

Merry Christmas, you beautiful people!

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