The Most Lip-Smackingly-Delicious Macaroni and Cheese. Ever.

mac and cheese

This year we hosted our first Christmas dinner in years.  Our kitchen renovations are almost entirely wrapped up and we have found ourselves hosting meal after holiday meal to celebrate the end of almost an entire year without a fully functional kitchen.  I knew that I was going to make ham for Christmas dinner and had a good idea of the usual sides I would include on the menu.  Then for some reason I became completely stuck on the idea of having some good ‘ol fashion from-scratch mac and cheese.

Last week I put out the call for the best macaroni and cheese recipes you had ever tried on my Facebook page.  (Check out the responses here!)  I was quickly inundated by a bunch of amazing sounding options – it was so hard to pick just one!  I finally settled on one suggested by Mandie – the variety of cheeses alone had me drooling as I read over the ingredient list.

This recipe is from Oprah via Patti LaBelle – “Over-the-Rainbow Macaroni and Cheese.”

I followed this recipe exactly – though I want to point out that their recipe states that this will yield 4-6 servings.  Well, we had 6 adults and one kid for dinner and STILL had enough mac and cheese to send some home with our guests and enough for 2 dinners worth of sides for us.  So unless you’re enjoying HOLY HUGE HEAPING PORTIONS, I think this recipe will EASILY provide enough for 8-10 if not more.

You will need:

:: 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
:: 1 pound elbow macaroni
:: 8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon butter
:: 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Muenster cheese
:: 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mild Cheddar cheese
:: 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
:: 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack
:: 2 cups half-and-half
:: 1 cup (8 ounces) Velveeta , cut into small cubes
:: 2 large eggs , lightly beaten
:: 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
:: 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

How to make:

:: Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease a deep casserole dish.  (I used my Rachael Ray Large Bubble and Brown Baker <– GAH, I LOVE that thing!)
:: In a large pot, bring water and a dash of salt to a boil.  Add the oil and then the macaroni.
:: Cook macaroni until just tender – do not over cook.
:: As your macaroni cooks, melt eight tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan.
:: Drain macaroni and return to cooking pot.
:: Stir melted butter into macaroni.
:: In a large bowl, mix all of your cheese except the cubed Velveeta.
:: Add half-and-half to macaroni along with 1 and 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, the cubed Velveeta and the eggs.
:: Season with salt and pepper.
:: Stir everything until just mixed and transfer to the buttered casserole dish.
:: Sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and dot with remaining one tablespoon of butter.
:: Bake uncovered until bubbling around the edges (approximately 35 minutes).
:: Serve hot.
:: Keel over because you can’t believe how delicious this tastes!

Mac and Cheese