I'll tell you. Macaroni and Cheese, that's why.
And maybe queso, but we'll talk about that another time.
Today is all about the M&C.
An old friend of mine (sorry Kendra, but you're only old in a long-time friend way) asked me for a recipe for this cheesy delight, and I have pondered for two weeks the perfect combination of players. Well, maybe three weeks.
Really and truly, it's just taken me this long to post it, but the whole pondering thing just sounds so much better.
This recipe is easy and forgiving, and you can substitute different pasta shapes, and cheeses if you don't happen to have my favorites on hand.
Here are some things you can't do. You can't leave out the Velveeta, and you can't leave out the cream. If you do I'll hunt you down, and heaven knows we don't want that. Also, if you leave those things out you won't swoon and melt into a puddle on the floor when you have your first bite. And heaven knows we do want that.
So here goes...
Makes you Swoon Mac and Cheese
3 c. uncooked pasta (I like the mini penne or rotini)
6T. butter (don't use margarine- that's just shameful)
1 c. milk
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. sour cream
3 c. cheese (I like a combo of 1 c. provolone, 1 c. asiago, and 1 c. Velveeta)
(But mix it up any way you like)
1/2 t. dried mustard
1/2 t. black pepper
1/8 t. cayenne
Cook the pasta in heavily salted water (the water should taste like the ocean, of course minus the little fish and stuff). Make sure the pasta is cooked until just al dente and not overcooked - it will absorb more of the good sauce and get softer later.
Make a roux with the butter and flour - cook it until it is a little beige, but not brown. Turn the heat way down to very low. Add the milk, cream, and sour cream, the mustard, and black and cayenne pepper. Stir constantly until it is thick, creamy and smooth. Add the cheese and stir constantly until melted. This may take a while but don't turn up the heat - you will curdle the cream!!!
Add the pasta to the sauce and stir until you have the sauce in all the little nooks and crannies of the pasta. That, my friends is what the nooks and crannies are for! Pour into a heavily buttered 13 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with additional cheese and Oh, oh, oh, I forgot! Crush up some cheese crackers like Cheez-its very finely and sprinkle on top. Then melt about 1/4 c. butter and pour over the whole thing.
Bake at 350 degrees 30-40 minutes until light brown and bubbly.
Swoon and melt in a puddle.