This Mac and Cheese recipe reflects my take on the Southern Style Classic. It’s milder flavor has a little bite of hot peppers and a slight warm, nutty taste from the addition of nutmeg; the combination is absolutely scrumptious. It’s great as a meal or serve as a side dish. It is also perfect as a make ahead dish! I hope you will try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we do. Happy Cooking.
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Mac and Cheese | Southern Style Recipe
An easy and delicious side dish.
FOR THE VEGGIES:
- 2 Jalapeños peppers seeds removed and finely diced
- 1 medium shallot peeled and finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt adjust for your diet
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups milk I used carnation. Can sub whole milk
- 2 cups mild yellow cheddar cheese freshly shredded. (reserve 1 cup for layering and topping)
- 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese freshly shredded
- 1 cup Moneterey cheese freshly shredded
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 lb Macaroni pasta
- water and salt for cooking pasta
- 1/2 cup ritz cracker crumbs (10 to 15 crackers crumbled finely).
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
Preheat oven 375F Degrees
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. [For cooking the pasta simultaneously.]
Let's cook the veggies:
Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to a non-stick frying pan, over medium heat.
Add the jalapeño peppers and shallots. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Saute 5 to 6 minutes.
Note: I mix together the total recommended salt and black pepper and I used a pinch of this to season the veggies.
Turn off the stove and set aside.
Check on the pasta water. It should be boiling. Add the pasta if it's boiling.[You can cook the pasta ahead if you prefer, but don't add any oil to it once it is done.]
Let's make the sauce in the meantime:
In a heavy bottom pot, add 5 tablespoons unsalted butter.
Use medium to medium-low heat.
Allow the butter to melt without browning it. Slowly sprinkle in the flour. Use a whisk or spatula to stir constantly. Cook 30 to 60 seconds.
Stir in the nutmeg.
Slowly pour in the milk, stirring as you go.
Note: stiring as you sprinkle in the flour helps to prevent lumps.
Cook the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes until it starts to thicken. Stir frequently.
Note: Keep an eye on the pasta. Drain and set aside if it becomes ready before the sauce.
Turn off the stove. Stir in the cooked veggies. Stir.
Add in the cheeses, stiring until melted and smooth.
In a bowl or measuring cup, beat the eggs. Quickly pour in 1 ladle of the cheese sauce. Whisking together quickly to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
Pour the eggy cheese sauce into the pot of cheese sauce. Stir to combine.
Mix in the cooked pasta. Stir unitil thoroughly combined.
Let's prepare the mac and cheese for baking:
Grease a 9×13 inch oven proof baking dish. Place on top of a 1/2 sheet pan.
Spread 1/2 of the mac and cheese sauce on the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded mild yellow cheddar cheese.
Pour in the remaining mac and cheese sauce. Spread evenly.
Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
Combine the crumbled cracker crumbs and melted butter.
Sprinkle it on top of the mac and cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until it's nice and bubbly.
Remove from the oven. Allow to sit 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.
Serve and enjoy!
Video tutorial available – link in summary.
This recipe can be made ahead.