Winter is the perfect time for comfort food. It’s cold and snowy out and all I want to do is hibernate and fill my tummy with good food. In a previous post, I mentioned that my all-time favorite comfort food is macaroni and cheese with 8 cups of cheese. Talk about cheese overload. I’m not complaining, though—are you?
|Oops – The flour and 1 bag of cheese are missing from this picture|
This mac & cheese requires minimum ingredients and is super easy to make. Honestly though, we haven’t eaten this in 4 months…we just couldn’t squeeze this $10 meal into our $40 weekly budget. However, we made it a priority to squeeze it in this month because it was My Love’s birthday meal. I think for the second year in a row now. Must be good, eh? If you’ll recall, we also had a Decadent Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake for his birthday. I assume you’re not judging us right now. It’s alllll calorie-free, I promise. I wouldn’t lie to you.
You know, I could use some of this mac & cheese to comfort me right now. Why, you ask? Welllll, I just found out that a wedding photographer we really like charges $400 per hour. Ugh, a shot to my heart, I tell you. We don’t need a pricey wedding package because we aren’t having a typical wedding. Just small and intimate—so, I figured the price would be better hourly. Perhaps not. Hm. Nothing a little comfort food can’t cure. I guess.
Anyway, see why comfort food is good? It cheers you up, makes you smile, and fills your tummy with goodness. This mac & cheese is super rich and cheesy. When you make this, promise me you’ll close your eyes and realllly enjoy the first bite. And every bite after.
The best part is the crispy cheese on top that just melts in your mouth. Four cups of the cheese in this recipe goes right on top. Yep, 4 cups for the topping!! Sprinkle it on by the handful and pop that baby under the broiler just until it’s melted and bubbly. Oooh, my mouth is watering now.
Cheese = comfort food. Eat it up…and then eat some more. Yessss! Oh, and then go make that cheesecake I mentioned.
Super Cheesy Macaroni & Cheese
Yields 6 servings
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni noodles—cooked according to package directions
- 3 tbsp. butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups half & half
- 1½ cups milk (more if needed)
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes or ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
- 8 cups shredded cheddar cheese—divided use
While the noodles are boiling, spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with non-stick spray and set it aside. Then, make the cheese sauce.
In a medium sauce pan set over medium heat, add the butter and let it melt. Add the flour and whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the half and half while continuing to whisk. Pour in the milk and whisk again to combine. Add the nutmeg, red pepper flakes (or cayenne), and salt. Whisk to combine. Add 4 cups of cheese—1 cup at a time—whisking very well after each addition. Turn heat to low. If the sauce starts to get too thick, add a little more milk and whisk to thin it out a bit (not too much, though).
Heat the broiler to 350 degrees.
The noodles should be done cooking by now, so drain them in a colander and add them back to the pot. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and stir until well combined. Pour the mac & cheese into the baking dish and evenly top it with the remaining 4 cups of cheese.
Set the dish under the broiler until the cheese is melted and golden brown—about 5 minutes. Do not leave this dish unattended under the broiler as it can go from golden brown to burnt in seconds. Turn the dish every so often to ensure all the cheese melts and turns golden. Remove the dish and let it set for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.