Memorial Day is coming up soon and here’s a little history lesson for you, courtesy of Wikipedia…if you trust it: Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.
So, here’s a recipe that has roots from the Civil War. For more detailed info, click on the Simply Recipes link below and you can read all about it. It’s actually pretty interesting!
Civil War Macaroni and Cheese
from Simply Recipes
4 c whole milk
1/2 lb elbow macaroni pasta (2 – 2.5 c)
4 T butter
2 c, packed, grated cheddar cheese (about 1/2 lb)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/3 c bread crumbs
What To Do
Heat the milk in a large saucepan until steamy. Stir in the dry macaroni pasta. Let come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Pay attention while the macaroni is cooking in the milk as the milk may foam up and boil over if the milk gets too hot. Cook the macaroni for 15 minutes or until done. The macaroni should absorb almost all of the milk.
Preheat oven to 400°F. As soon as the macaroni is close to being done, melt the butter in a separate saucepan, stir in the grated cheese, black pepper to taste and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Once the cheese has melted, pour the sauce into the macaroni and milk mixture and stir to combine. Taste and add salt if needed.
Place macaroni and cheese mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle lightly with cayenne (if using). Bake in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
I made this last night and as you can see in the photo, there aren’t any bread crumbs! I didn’t have any, so left them off. However, I’ve used them in the past and like the added crunch it gives to the dish. What I really like to do is use crushed garlic croutons!
Also, last night I tried something new and used 2% milk and a bag of finely shredded Colby/Monterey Jack cheese blend and it turned out just fine.
I do spray my baking dish lightly with a PAM-like product but I don’t know if it’s necessary.