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Food Friday 9/23/22: Mac and cheese!

Macaroni and cheese in a white baking dish
Deanna Fox
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It's a comfort food at or near the top of almost everyone's list. Macaroni and cheese! Today we talk about - and taste - this American favorite with Deanna Fox and Shaleena Bridgham. Call and share your favorite recipe. 800-348-2551. Ray Graf hosts.

A Food Friday favorite, Deanna Fox is a food and agriculture journalist who travels the globe in search of the story, meaning and purpose of our food heritage and systems. She was also the owner of Albany Cooking School for several years. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, The Guardian, The Kitchn, Eater, the Times Union and more. Stories, videos and recipes can be found at www.foxonfood.com or at Fox on Food on Facebook and Instagram.

Shaleena Bridgham helps run Four Fat Fowl Artisan Creamery.
Stephentown, New York's Four Fat Fowl was born from a family of maniacal cheese lovers with a commitment to making locally-sourced, handcrafted cheeses of the finest quality. Since 2013 they've been crafting cheeses that showcase the bounty of the Hudson Valley and please palates far and wide.

Deanna Fox's Macaroni and Cheese recipe
Serves 4, with leftovers likely

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 sleeve of Saltine or Ritz crackers, crushed into large crumbs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard (yellow or Dijon preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (slightly more if using pre-ground)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (cheddar is great, or you can create a mix of cheeses you like best)
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, boiled in salted water until just fork tender then drained

METHOD
Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9x13” baking dish and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until melted, then stir in flour. Heat and stir until this mixture (called a “roux”) is smooth and bubbling, about two minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk. Add the mustard, pepper, paprika, nutmeg and kosher salt. Return to the heat and bring to a low boil, then add in the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Turn off the heat and add in the cooked elbow macaroni. Pour this mixture into the prepared baking dish, then sprinkle the crushed crackers over the top.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. Place under the broiler for five minutes to brown the top if needed. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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