For TueNight.com by Jody Jones
Oh, your curves: I trace them with the tip of my tongue. Your milky pale form, your creaminess. I close my eyes and nibble, just a bit.
And then I shove a giant spoonful into my mouth.
Oh mac and cheese. I objectify it like a really fine, tan Southern man from Tennessee wearing nothing but cowboy boots and a Four Roses Bourbon t-shirt. Mac and cheese is good even when it's bad. Kinda like French fries and sex.
You see, being a mac and cheese aficionado does not make me a mac and cheese snob. If you're one of those Velveeta haters, stop reading right now. That shit is not from this earth whatsoever, but many cooks agree it's essential to an amazing, creamy dish.
I'm easy like Sunday morning when it comes to mac and cheese recipes. I don't care what kind of cheese is used (though I do prefer some over others). Don't care about the shape of the noodle (yes, sure, some cradle the sauce better than others -- but whatever). Don't mind if you put other stuff (like bacon or lobster or truffles) in, on or near it. You can bake it, broil it, fry it, poach it or molecular gastronomy it for all I care. Drop it on the ground and I will eat it. I will use either the five-second rule or the five-hour rule if that makes you feel better.
Kraft brand from the box? Great. Just get two boxes. The shit they sell in bodegas that's made from canned liquid neon cheese? You bet. The best-of-the-best gourmet concoction from Artisanal? I always enjoy that, too. There's nothing you can do to mac and cheese that will make me not want or love it.
I don't think I'm alone in my lack of selectivity. People like me, we are everywhere. Like Democrats in Chelsea.
And now, for your culinary pleasure, I present my own mac and cheese recipe -- which can be made completely outside and beachside (or not... but you know you want to be enjoying the great outdoors these days).
Beach House Mac and Cheese
Cheese, onions, butter, salt and mmm... bacon. (Photo: Jody Jones/TueNight
1 lb (one box) elbow macaroni or other pasta
1 lb (half a block) Velveeta, cubed
1 lb sharpy sharp sharp cheddar, cubed or shredded
1 small onion, chopped (3/4 - 1 cup)
4 T butter
2 cups whole milk
Salt to taste for pasta water
Pepper if you like (I don't)
Grilled bacon to crumble on top, if you dare (I do)
1. Start salted water to boil on grill or stovetop.
2. Saute onions on grill or stovetop in 2 T butter until translucent (about 8-10 minutes), stirring constantly.
Saute onions in butter. (Photo: Jody Jones/TueNight)
3. Add milk to onions and heat until simmering.
4. Add pasta to boiling water, reducing heat to a simmer. Cook until al dente.
5. Add cheese to milk mixture 1/2 pound at a time, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
Melt Velveeta, cheddar and milk. (Photo: Jody Jones/TueNight)
6. Drain pasta and return to large pot.
7. Add cheese mixture to pasta and mix until pasta is thoroughly coated.
8. Pour mac and cheese into a buttered baking dish.
9. Grill or bake until bubbling and golden brown on top.
For a beachy flavor, bake pasta on the grill. (Photo: Jody Jones/TueNight)
10. Eat the shit out of that bitch!
We doubled the recipe for a large party and added the grilled, crumbled bacon to the top. It went swimmingly. If you want your dish to be extra seaworthy, add a dash of Old Bay into the mix.
Enjoy, my cheesy friends!
The author and her grill. (Photo: Jody Jones/TueNight)
TueNight is a weekly online publication for women to share where they've been and explore where they want to go next. We are you, part two. www.tuenight.com