When I think of a true soul food dinner I think, greens, candied sweet potatoes, pork chops, fried catfish, or chicken, sweet cornbread, and really, really wanting these two things especially: REAL Cornbread Dressing and REAL Macaroni and Cheese. Now, the cornbread dressing may not happen as often as I would like but, I will whip up my favorite pasta covered in a melted cheese sauce in a hot minute. But, my love for both of them is equal, constant, and never ending. (see below)cornbread dressing
macaroni and cheese
Everyone can’t make a great pan of cornbread dressing or an amazing pan of macaroni and cheese. And, I will not claim to make the best of either one. But, I have had the best cornbread dressing. It came from my grandma. It is the best. My grandma is now 93 going on 94. She doesn’t make the dressing too often anymore (my sister has taken on that task) but grandma always makes the cornbread for the dressing. That is the most important ingredient. Oh, and the stock that is made from the turkey parts. And let me just say one more thing about my grandma’s cornbread dressing….. There is never enough, no matter how much is made.
Moving on now….(smile)…. We are here today to talk about Macaroni and Cheese. Again I will say this. Everyone can’t make this, (not even my grandma). My uncle Keith can. His is the nominated version for Thanksgiving dinner or any event where food is on the menu. It is delicious. So delicious, I’ve seen it sell out more than once as one of the sides on his BBQ food truck Big Daddy BBQ in Columbus Ohio. My mother used to make a good one. When I started cooking, I used her recipe, which she got from my Aunt “Sister”. That one is/was delicious. The sauce was made from Kraft cheese slices, evaporated milk and butter. It’s still the one I love the most. That doesnt mean I can’t try a new one every now and then. Which brings us to today’s recipe and FAVORITE COOKBOOK FRIDAY #7!!!!…..YAY!!!!!
Stories from my Grandmother’s Kitchen is for me an award worthy cookbook. Authored by Darius Williams this man proves he knows how to show out in the kitchen. What ever you can dream of I bet if you ask Darius what to do with it he will come up with an answer cooked hot and on a plate. I’m not sure how long Mr. Williams has been around but I’ve been watching him for around 2 years now on You Tube and Facebook cooking LIVE! Darius goes on tour cooking across the country, hosting events where he cooks for about 25 people from appetizer to dessert. And from what I see online he and the guests party the whole time. In between all of that he wrote and self published his own cookbook! Last but not least of all of that Darius Williams just announced he is opening a restaurant in Atlanta Georgia. I am such a fan of his, all the way around.
I chose his “Ultimate Baked Mac and Cheese” to showcase today because it started with a sauce. The same way my mom’s used to. How could I lose?
The Ultimate Baked Mac and Cheese**(adapted from Darius Cooks)**
4 cups cooked pasta
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
1 pinch garlic powder
1 pinch paprika
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mild cheddar cheese shredded
1 cup colby cheese shredded
1 cup pepper jack cheese shredded
note: ***shred your own cheese*** You’ll thank me later.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Then, stir in the flour and cook for about 60-90 seconds while constantly stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Whisk in the half and half and continue stirring while on a medium high heat. When the sauce comes to a boil it will start to thicken.
- Turn the stove down to low. Fold in the cheeses and sour cream, stir until everything is melted together to make a cheese sauce. Taste it.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, paprika and, garlic powder. Taste again.
- When the sauce is smooth, mix in the cooked macaroni pasta and pour into a 2 1/2 quart greased baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with paprika cover lightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes till hot, brown and, bubbly.
Is macaroni and cheese one of your favorites? What about cornbread dressing? What does your favorite meal consist of?….. I’ve shared with you mine, show me yours!
Melt butter in large deep skillet.
Add in flour.
Stir for 60-90 seconds.
Stir in half and half.
Cook on medium high till just boiling and thickened.
Add in the cheese and sour cream.
Stir until completely smooth.
Stir in the seasonings.
Next stir in the cooked macaroni!
Completely mix the cheese sauce and pasta together…..Almost ready for the oven.
Pour macaroni and cheese into a casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes.
Eat! Eat! Eat!
This recipe was golden to me. I was very happy with the outcome. Darius is a genius. His recipes seemed to all be created with love. Thee most important ingredient in any dish. Check out the mac and cheese, and also a great recipe for cornbread dressing. You can find that recipe in the book too. You can find the book on his website Dariuscooks.com. Believe me, that will be money well spent. You will be licking your lips from the first picture to the back cover. I promise. And, I will be licking my lips when I go see him cook live this June in Detroit!
Until next time,
Kim from Flint