Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Macaroni & Cheese a la Nancy Reagan

Nancy Reagan's macaroni and cheese / Reaganite makaronivorm

I cannot remember where exactly I got this recipe from (the Internet is a wide, wide world), but apparently that's the way Nancy Reagan would make mac'n'cheese for her hubby. Please, please don't read any politics into this choice of recipe :) - it appealed to me because of its simplicity. It's a good mac'n'cheese recipe for those moments when you're craving something simple and comforting, but haven't got many eggs in your fridge nor bacon nor cream.

As you can see from the picture below, then I've combined it with some Georgian creamy & herby mushrooms. They worked together like a dream.

What's your favourite macaroni & cheese recipe and do you eat it as it is or as a side dish?

Nancy Reagan's Macaroni & Cheese
(Reaganite makaroni-juustuvorm)

Nancy Reagan's macaroni and cheese / Reaganite makaronivorm

250 g small pasta (f.ex. elbow pasta)
water & salt, for boiling pasta
1 tsp butter
1 large egg
250 ml (one cup) of milk
1 tsp mustard powder/dry mustard
1 tsp finely ground sea salt
200-250 g grated cheese

Cook pasta al dente, drain (keep a spoonful of the cooking water for later). Stir in the butter and whisked egg, then transfer into a buttered round gratin dish.
Mix mustard powder, salt and a spoonful of hot pasta-cooking water, then stir in the milk and about 3/4 of the grated cheese. Pour over the pasta in the gratin dish. Toss a little, then sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
Bake in a pre-heated 170 C/350 F oven for about 45 minutes, until the custard is set and cheese lovely golden.


Susan said...

This is basically how it's made here in the States -- I don't know anyone who uses eggs.

I make it similarly - but that is where the similarity with NR stops:) For sure.


Cat Lady said...

Hey Pille! I never use egg for my righteous mac and cheese but do include wholegrain mustard. I like to layer tomatoes on the top with a bit of paprika. My mum used to serve us mac and cheese with fried potatoes .... a typical carb crazy, full fat Scottish dinner, eh!

Manya said...

It's fun to make this recipe with at least four cheese (a Quattro Formaggio, if you will). I also put sliced tomatoes on top, or a gratin of breadcrumbs/parmesan or romano cheese. There are as many recipes for this dish as there are people; yours looks great!

penny said...

Tere Pille.
I have been looking at your blog for a few months now.
You have got some great recipes.
My favourite macaroni cheese is with boiled macaroni, cheese sauce (homemade with a basic white sauce with English mustard and red leicester cheese in). Also chop up onions, carrots and potatoes. Parboil the potatoes, heat up vegetable oil in a frying pan then add the onions, carrots and parboiled potatoes to the frying pan. Mix veg, cheese sauce and macaroni then bake in the oven.

Pene said...

Please change "Nancy Reagan used when making mac'n'cheese to her hubby." to "Nancy Reagan would make mac'n'cheese for her hubby."

margie said...

I don't make macaroni and cheese very often at home - I like to eat it guilt-free, and that means only a few times a year :)

My favorite version, which I will really have to post on my blog soon, is a smoky-spicy mac and cheese with a mixture of provolone and extra sharp cheddar, tossed with onions and spiked with smoked chipotle chiles. So good!

Anonymous said...

• This looks a bit bland for my taste. It screams out for more ingredients and seems to rely on a dose of salt to give it some flavor. •

Pille said...

Susan - interesting, adding eggs must be a Nordic thing then? LOL @ the similarities with NR :)

Emma - that sounds delicious! Now that the tomatoes are in season, I'll try the tomato layer!

Manya - Quattro Formaggio Mac & Cheese sounds like a decadent fusion classic :P

Penny - simply adding Mornay sauce/cheese sauce on top of macaroni sounds also a neat idea!

Margie - I need to come and check if you've blogged about your smoky version!!

Amateur Cook - trust me - mustard and cheese give plenty of flavour (as long as you use a proper mustard and a flavourful cheese, not one of those pale yellow sponge-like wannabe-cheese products).