Monday, November 29, 2010

Cheesy Meaty Mac & Cheese

If there's a comfort food that everyone can appreciate, it's macaroni and cheese. There are countless recipes out there but I still find myself looking for the *perfect* one. I love my mac and cheese on the creamy and very cheesy side. When I stumbled upon this mac & cheese recipe made on the stove top that had numerous rave reviews, I couldn't pass it up. As a result, I got exactly what I was hoping for and created this Cheesy, Meaty Mac & Cheese. I don't think I'll be searching for another mac and cheese recipe anytime soon because this was... perfect!

I've made my share of mac and cheese recipes, all of them very good. But this recipe is by far my favorite... at least for now. This is Alton Brown's recipe which is made on the stovetop. It couldn't have been any easier and the dish is everything I'm looking for in a mac and cheese. I made some adaptations, one of which was adding diced cheddar bratwurst for a heartier dish. You can certainly omit the cheddar bratwurst and use the recipe as a great base to add other ingredients to customize your mac and cheese. Some ideas - crumbled bacon, smoked sausage, steamed broccoli, mixed vegetables, etc... the ideas are endless!

Cheesy Meaty Mac & Cheese
recipe adapted from Alton Brown

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 eggs
2/3 cup half & half
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
10 ounces extra sharp cheddar, shredded
3-4 links fully cooked cheddar bratwurst, diced
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese and diced cheddar bratwurst.

Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.