With the Lenten season upon us, we try to find a meatless main dish or side dishes. Here is a mac and cheese rendition where the cheese melts into a rich, custardy sauce.
Exciting Mac and Cheese 6 T. butter, plus extra for baking dish 1 pound elbow macaroni 3 - 12 oz. cans evaporated milk 1 T. dried mustard or Dijon mustard 2 T. red devil sauce or chili sauce (optional) 4 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese ½ lb. Velveeta or American cheese (cut into ½ inch cubes ½ cup heavy cream 1 egg, lightly beaten Kosher salt Fresh ground pepper 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Cook pasta until al dente, 8 - 10 minutes. Drain into a large mixing bowl and toss with 4 T. of the butter.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring evaporated milk to a scald and add it to the macaroni. Add the mustard, red devil sauce, and Cheddar and stir well (the cheese should start to melt). Add Velveeta and cream and stir well.
The macaroni and chunks of cheese should be swimming in the sauce. Add the egg and mix well. Season with salt, if needed, and pepper.
Pour into the prepared baking dish that has been placed on a sheet pan to catch spills (the baking dish will be completely full).
Sprinkle with the Panko and dot with the remaining 2 T. of butter. Bake until golden brown and bubbling. 25 - 30 minutes.
Etc. — If you want to prepare fish with the mac and cheese - here are some variations: coat fish with 1 c. buttermilk; in separate dish, combine 1 cup biscuit baking mix, salt and pepper. Remove fish from buttermilk and toss with the biscuit baking mix; heat oil over medium heat and fry fish until golden brown. Another version: in shallow dish, combine 1 c. yellow cornmeal, 1 cup instant potato flakes, salt and pepper. Dip fish in 1/4 cup melted butter and dredge in cornmeal mixture. Fry fish in oil.