Growing up, I was never a fan of mac n’ cheese. My only experiences with it were (1) at school, the goopy orange stuff congealing (uneaten) on my lunch tray, (2) on TV, in commercials with that orange dinosaur swimming in rivers of cheese sauce, and (3) at Dan’s fraternity, watching his brothers suck down endless bowls of the stuff after a night of drinking. Gross.
It wasn’t until this past year that I discovered the joys of grown-up, home-made, baked mac n’ cheese. I think it was the combination of endless Food Network shows extolling the virtues of the stuff, and delicious sounding gourmet mac n’ cheese offerings (mmm, lobster mac…) on numerous restaurant menus that finally crumbled my resistance. Thank god. I’m discovering more and more that there is really no place for random food grudges in good eating/cooking.
I’ve made this baked mac n’ cheese dish a few times now — when I make glazed pork chops, actually — and it is amazing! The noodles are soft and chewy, drenched in delicious cheese sauce, and the crunchy, buttery bread crumbs on top are a delightful textural surprise. This is a million times better than Kraft mac n’ cheese, I promise.
Recipe can be found here, courtesy of Alton Brown.