Michael's Favorite Macaroni and Cheese
From the Kitchen of Pamela Murphy
3/4 lb. Macaroni
3 T butter
3 T Flour
2c. milk, hot
4c. grated cheddar cheese
¼ t. white pepper (optional)
Heat oven to 350. Cook macaroni in plenty of rapidly boiled lightly salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain. Rinse. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Cook, stirring, until the raw flour smell goes away, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in milk and cook until smooth. Add 3 ½ cups Cheddar cheese, salt, pepper and stir until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Stir in the macaroni.
Pour into an ovenproof baking dish, sprinkle with ½ cup of remaining Cheddar cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings.
Timeline for Macaroni and Cheese
Middle 1300s: First recipes for pasta with cheese recorded in Italy. Late in the century makerouns with cheese and butter "cast bynethen and aboven" appears in the cookbook of Richard II's court. Mac and cheese then dies out in England for 350 years.
1760's: English gentlemen taking the Grand Tour bring home a taste for macaroni. Macaroni becomes a synonym for exquisite sophistication.
1776: Yankee Doodle sticks feather in hat, calls it macaroni; Redcoats laugh, get defeated anyhow.
1802: Thomas Jefferson introduces America to macaroni and cheese by serving it at the White House.
1847: The birth of modern macaroni and cheese. A recipe using white sauce as a binder appears in Sara Rutledge's "The Carolina Housewife".
Early 20th century: Pasta is no longer expensive, so macaroni and cheese ceases to be a luxury dish and becomes an everyday food.
1937: Kraft Cheese Co. starts marketing dry macaroni with a packet of grated cheese as Kraft Dinner. According to legend, Kraft noticed that a salesman in St. Louis had been selling packets of Kraft cheese by tying them to packages of pasta.
1960s: Triumph of packaged macaroni and cheese; homemade version has become rare.
1970s: Foodies decide macaroni and cheese is boring but fettuccine Alfredo is exciting.
1980s: With the Diner Revival restaurant movement, foodies rediscover macaroni and cheese. Expression "comfort food" begins to be used.
Today: New American Cuisine chefs vary mac & cheese for better (using goat cheese and Cheddar) and worse (with everything from chipotle peppers to foie gras).
(taken from the Tribune Review, Greensburg, Food Section)