Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Every once in the while, we want mac and cheese, and nothing else will do.  It is not that we love mac and cheese so much.  It is good and we do like it but it is not special.  Yet, as a comfort food, I guess we yearn for it, at bumpy times.  That is why we ate this macaroni and cheese.
I wonder if it goes back to my childhood in Horn and Hardart automat.  That was in the olden days and we put a quarter in the slot and out popped the dish, behind the glass.  It was a treat to go there.  It was not like any of the other restaurants around.  You know, the normal ones where you told a waiter what you want and he brings it to the table.
No, to the best of my memory, there is a wall that you could see through, lined up with specific dishes. I can’t tell you what else they served.  I bought the mac and cheese.  Each time, I went there, it was drop in the quarter, open the door and take out your mac and cheese.  Looking up at all those plates lined up, I felt like a kid in a candy store.  I could choose almost anything there so I would look, knowing all the time, what I was going to pick. That was part of the fun.
As I got older and could go there with my friends, it was a real excursion.  We all discussed what we would choose and then each of us, chose the same dish, we had gotten the time before and the time before that.
  Horn and Hardart Automat  For a short video, check here..
As I got older and could go there with my friends, it was a real excursion.  We all discussed what we would choose and then each of us, chose the same dish, we had gotten the time before and the time before that.
Macaroni and Cheese
Ingredients
1 cup ground crumbs from potato chips or any snack
3 tablespoons margarine
2 cups milk
1/4 cup  flour
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon  grated nutmeg
pinch ground black pepper
2 cups  grated sharp cheddar
1 cup Gouda
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2  pound elbow macaroni
Procedure
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray with cooking oil, a 1 – 2 quart casserole; set aside.
Place crumbs in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon margarine. Pour  into crumbs andtoss. Set the crumbs aside.
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining margariner in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
2. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
 Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.
 Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer’s directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
 Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cups cheddar and 1/4Gouda and 1/4 cup Parmesan.  Scatter crumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

This is linked to:

Tasty Tuesday on Beauty and Bedlam,           Delectable Tuesday on Home Sweet Farm       Tasty Tuesday

,Made from Scratch Tuesday on From Mess Hall to Bistro.                  Tasty Tuesday Tidbits              Totally Tasty Tuesdays    Tuesday’s Tasty Tidbits        Mac ‘n Cheese Challenge

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