“There were tables in the back dining room set with stainless steel sheet trays and bowls so big I could bathe in them. Macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, potato salad, biscuits, an oily green salad with shredded carrots. Pitchers of iced tea. It looked like food for a large catered event, but my trailer handed me a white plate and started helping himself to family meal.” ~Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.
Macaroni and Cheese
4 cups dried macaroni
1 whole egg
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard
1 pound sharp Cheddar, grated, plus more for baking
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook the macaroni until still slightly firm. Drain and set aside.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg. In a large pot, melt the butter and sprinkle in the flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook for a couple of minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn. Pour in the milk, add the mustard and whisk until smooth. Cook until very thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low.
- Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the eggs. Whisk together until smooth. Pour the egg into the sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth. Add in the cheese and stir to melt. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt and the pepper. Add any additional spices if desired. Taste that sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt if needed.
- Pour in the drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Serve immediately or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese and bake until bubbly and golden on top, 20 to 25 minutes.