I’m a pretty by the book kind of person. Not prone to wild ideas about pairing seemingly unrelated ingredients or reinterpreting classic dishes with an out-of-left field addition. No, my rebellion is subtle. I will follow a recipe to the letter, but throw in my own spin — like adding a pretty normal extra ingredient or a slight fudge of the measurements. There’s always room for more garlic and more sauce, right? I can’t leave well enough alone, and I always make a recipe my own, somehow. Continue reading →
Macaroni and cheese just may be my favorite food. And I’m not alone. Mac and cheese consistently ranks as America’s top go-to comfort food, hands down, and we make it in countless iterations, with all manner of pasta shapes, types of cheeses, mix-ins and toppings.
I’m a traditionalist, though. I don’t like it fancy. And I especially don’t want bacon anywhere near it — not in it, not on it, no how.
No bacon, you say? I know. I’m a shame to my people, a traitor to my southern roots. But I just don’t love bacon. (Please don’t hurt me.) And when it’s added to mac and cheese, the flavor just takes over and permeates everything. Some of you are wondering what’s wrong with that.
On mac and cheese, I’ve found that there are two schools of thought. One submerges macaroni (or any manner of small pasta) in a creamy, cheesy white sauce with roots in a butter-flour roux. Then there’s the southern way — layering pasta with cheese and pouring over an egg and milk custard. I grew up eating this version, where the mac and cheese bakes into a solidified, though delicious, mass that you can cut and serve in a perfect square. To me, that was always true and traditional. Continue reading →