Midwest Mac N Cheese
A delicious dish from our friend Nyssa, passed down by her grandmother.
- 16 oz elbow macaroni
- ½ cup butter
- ½ c all purpose flour
- 1 ½ c milk
- 2 ½ c cream (or half and half if using whole milk)
- 2 ½ c shredded Colby Jack
- 1 ½ c shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 ½ c shredded mozzarella
- 8 oz Velveeta, cubed*
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 or 3 beaten eggs
- Optional: 8 oz (8 slices) bacon, cooked and chopped, or 1 lb cooked crumbled ground beef
- Optional topping:
- 1 cup panko or crushed butter crackers
- 2 tbsp of melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°. Start boiling the water for macaroni in a large saucepan, and set the milk, cream and butter out to warm up. Grease a 9x13" baking pan.
- Grate the cheeses if using blocks--best if you have a food processor that grates or this will take about 20-30 minutes and strong arms! Mix cheeses except Velveeta together in a bowl and set aside 1/2 c for topping.
- Start pan-frying or microwaving** the bacon or ground beef if it's not already cooked.
- When water is boiling, cook the macaroni for 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate medium saucepan, make the cheese sauce: Melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in flour, gradually stir in milk and cream, then Velveeta until smooth. Mix in spices and then other cheeses and stir until melted and smooth.
- Remove cheese sauce from the heat and mix in the cooked macaroni, and bacon or beef if using. Stir in eggs.
- Add mix to the baking pan and top with the additional 1/2 c shredded cheese. Sprinkle optional panko or crackers mixed with butter evenly across the top if desired. Sprinkle more paprika generously across the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Broil the top for a few minutes until golden brown, if not already (watch closely!)
- Measurements are approximate and based on the recipe below. Here are her original instructions: "Cook the elbows. Meanwhile, do the roux with the velveeta, adding margarine and milk till smooth, add your salt, pepper, nutmeg, and paprika & stir, add your shredded cheeses to melt. Once smooth again, take off heat, add your elbow noodles & stir. Now add your 2 beaten eggs. The eggs make the Mac spongy, sometimes I’ll add up to 4 eggs. Add mix to baking pan, top with more shredded cheese. Sprinkle more paprika evenly across top then bake. If your doing a large portion or tall pan, cover will foil for the first 30 mins. Gotta make sure the eggs are cooked. Then broil the top till golden brown."
- Try this recipe with above cheese mixture and eggs. www.thechunkychef.com/family-favorite-baked-mac-and-cheese/
- Shredding your own cheese will result in smoother sauce. Here is the block-to-shredded cheese equivalency. www.thespruceeats.com/measuring-cheese-for-recipes-591187
- *If you want more of a 'box' mac n cheese taste, use 12 oz Velveeta and reduce cheddar and mozzarella by 1/4 c each. Or 16 oz Velveeta and reduce them by 1/2 c each.