(you should be able to make them larger by clicking on them if you want to get this basic guide for a single serving)
This is the original recipe written out for me by my Aunt Charlotte. I lived with her and Uncle Ralph, actually my father’s aunt and uncle, for a few months while in college and this was something she fixed for me for dinner. It has changed some over the years, as I have prepared it regularly for my family. Now I make enough to fill a 10 x 15 oblong glass baking dish:
Easy Gourmet Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Preheat oven to 375 F. Generously butter 10 x 15 baking dish.
Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add 4 and 1/2 cups of dry elbow macaroni. (I have been know to mix and match pastas, depending on what I have on hand. Just make sure they are compatible thicknesses if you are cooking them in the same water.) Cook, stirring a few times, until firm tender, about 8 minutes. Drain.
Option: Cook some diced onions or leeks in a little olive oil until tender.
Meanwhile, crack 9 eggs (best if they are from your own chickens!) into a large bowl and beat well. (I use an old fashioned springy egg whisk similar to this because it is fun as well as being easy and effective.)
Add 4 and 1/2 cups of milk. (I have recently started using part cream for this, up to half the amount. Yum.)
Stir in about 9 cups of grated cheese, usually at least part cheddar, but about half Jack cheese adds nice flavor, too. (I have been quite loyal to Tillamook cheese over the years, and still think it is some of the best out there. However, in the last couple of years I discovered Organic Valley Raw Milk Sharp Cheddar cheese. I also use it to make cheese sauce to drool over.)
Mix in about 3/4 teaspoon of (sea) salt and enough ground black pepper to suit your family’s palate.
Gently stir in the drained macaroni (and onion or leeks if you are using them).
Place in greased baking dish,
then put in oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until nicely browned on top and fairly set in the middle.
We had ours last night with green beans frozen from the garden and homemade applesauce:
Some family members enjoy salsa or (shudder) ketchup on it. It is so easy and nutritious, fills people up, and saves well for left-overs. (BTW, kids your dad and I are going on a date tonight….)
Thank you, Aunt Charlotte.