Southern-Style Macaroni and Cheese My Way

Initially intrigued by Saveur’s Southern-Style Macaroni and Cheese, I was inspired to modernize this classic recipe with the addition of several sautéed vegetables. Perhaps it was not the desire to create my own recipe as much as it was the necessity to use the extra vegetables in my refrigerator. If someone desires to stay true to the Southern roots of this classic dish, then I applaud him/her. If you desire to add a few more healthy vegetables, then I recommend thinly sliced sautéed onion, julienned carrots, chopped zucchini and fresh-cut corn off the cob.

Overall, I felt the addition of the onion added flavor, the carrots a bit of crunch, the chopped zucchini lent the first tastes of fall and the sweet corn was a nice contrast to the hearty pasta.

SouthernStyle Macaroni and Cheese

by Saveur

1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

8 oz. hollow pasta, preferably elbow macaroni

Butter, for greasing

7 oz. extra-sharp cheddar, cut into 1⁄2″ cubes (about 1 1⁄2 cups), plus 6 oz. grated (about 2 cups)

2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. flour

1 1⁄2 tsp. dry mustard

1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1⁄4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1⁄8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2⁄3 cup sour cream

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1⁄2 cups half-and-half

1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream

1⁄3 cup grated onion

1 tsp. Worcestershire

Heat oven to 350°. Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until cooked halfway through, about 3 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to a greased 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Stir in the cubed cheddar cheese and set aside. (See below additions.)

Combine 1 1⁄2 tsp. salt, flour, mustard, black pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne in a large mixing bowl. Add the sour cream and the eggs and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half, heavy cream, onions, and Worcestershire. Pour egg mixture over the reserved pasta mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the surface. Bake until the pasta mixture is set around the edges but still a bit loose in the center, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Additions

Saute 1 thinly sliced onion in olive oil with 3 julienned carrots until soft. Add 1 medium zucchini, diced with 2-1/2 cups fresh-cut corn off the cob for 2 more minutes. Mix in after adding the cubed cheddar cheese.

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