Cooking With Suhru: Mac & Cheese
There are few dishes that provide more warmth, satisfaction, and comfort than homemade mac & cheese! Maybe it's just me, but there is something completely irresistible about hot cheese no matter its form, but if I had to pick a favorite way to eat it, this recipe takes the cake every time!
Good friends of the family and members of our Wine Club—Tom & Nancy—introduced us to this recipe many years ago on a family ski trip and ever since it has been one of my winter staples (and I think you'll understand why)!
Whether sharing dinner with friends after a long day on the mountain, dressing it up (and adding lobster) for an appearance at Christmas Eve, or enjoying as a little comfort food in a long, cold winter, this recipe hits the spot every time!
Mac & Cheese with a bottle of wine may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but don't knock it till you try it (trust me)! Pair your decadent baked mac & cheese with a fruity, medium-bodied wine like our Merlot and you have a perfect night in!
So without further ado...
Tom's Famous Baked Mac & Cheese
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 stick of salted butter
- 1/2 cup flour (more or less if needed)
- 1 pint half & half
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 pound Velveeta
- 1 pound hard cheese (whichever variety you like)
- 1 pound macaroni noodles
- 1 pound ham or bacon, cubed (optional)
- 1 packaged shredded cheese (whichever variety you like)
- 1 tbsp paprika
- Make a rue, by first melting the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Once melted, add diced onions and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent, roughly 5 minutes.
- While the onions are cooking, get your flour and half & half ready, measuring each into their own small bowl and set aside. Prepare the cheese by cutting the hard cheese and Velveeta into cubes and set aside.
- Once onions are translucent, turn off the stove top and slowly add flour into the onion mixture, stirring constantly to keep it from burning. Once the flour is fully combined, slowly pour in the half & half stirring all the while.
- Add salt, pepper and mustard to your rue and stir. Your mixture should be a smooth liquid, not a solid. Add milk as needed to ensure you maintain a soupy consistency as it thickens.
- Turn the heat back on to low and slowly add the cubed cheese & Velveeta, stirring all the while. (You will get a nice arm workout while making this). Stir until the cheese has fully melted and is one homogenous sauce. Turn off stove top and set cheese mixture aside.
- Cook the macaroni following the instructions on the box for al dente.
- While the macaroni is cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease your casserole dish(es). I prefer to split mine into two smaller round Pyrex's and freeze one (uncooked) so I can pull it out of the freezer and throw it in the oven on a day I don't feel like cooking.
- Once the macaroni is finished cooking, drain and pour into the cheese mixture. Add the cubed ham and mix until well combined.
- Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into your baking dishes. Top the mixture with your shredded cheese and sprinkle with a dusting of paprika.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until cheese is bubbling and a brown crispy crust has formed on the top of your macaroni and cheese.
- Serve with a bottle of Merlot and enjoy!
For more Recipe and Pairing Suggestion, checkout Cooking with Suhru!