Monday, November 28, 2005
Horn and Hardart’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Great American Food Almanac Copyright 1986
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1 ½ cups milk
2 tablespoons light cream I had some heavy cream left over from pie making
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 ½ tablespoons flour
1 ½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese I used a pre-shredded blend of American and Cheddar Jack
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and white pepper
¼ cup finely chopped canned tomatoes I used petite diced
½ teaspoon sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cook the macaroni, uncovered, in 6 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water for 8-12 minutes until al dente. Drain well.
3. Combine the milk and cream in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. I nuked it.
4. While the milk warms, heat the butter in another saucepan over low heat for 1 minute until foaming. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. I didn’t let this go 3 minutes, more like 1.
5. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture, and cook, stirring with a wire whisk or wooden spoon for a few minutes, until thickened.
6. Add the cheese to the white sauce, about ¼ cup at a time, stirring until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the cayenne pepper and season to taste with salt and white pepper.
7. Stir the tomatoes and sugar into the cheese sauce.
8. Combine the cooked macaroni with the sauce, and pour into a buttered 1 ½ quart baking dish.
9. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the top is nicely browned.
I don’t know if this really tastes like Horn and Hardart’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese but this is darn good. It could be the best I've ever made. Nice and cheesy. When left to my own devices I tend to add to much macaroni but following a recipe forces me to do it right. I like the addition of the tomatoes.
This isn’t really a cookbook. It describes itself as ‘an organized scrapbook of food facts, fancies, and foibles, useful, diverting and full of surprises’. Now we have the internet and Food TV but in 1986, most people still read books to discover food facts, fancies, and foibles. There are only about 20 recipes in the book. There’s one for a chicken covered in 24K gold. I don’t think I’ll be trying that one anytime soon but I’ll be making this one again.