This post is sponsored by FreshDirect. We are participating in FreshDirect’s Fourth Annual #FDFriendsgiving! In exchange for this blog post and photos of our Homestyle Mac and Cheese for Instagram, we were given a FreshDirect $100 gift card.
It’s hard to think about my childhood without my mom’s baked mac and cheese. Usually made on nights the babysitters (aka one of my cousins) would come over. She would prepare a pan and stick it in the oven right before they arrived. This is a no-frills recipe. Just a little whole milk and American cheese. In fact, this is a recipe she got from her grandmother. When she and her sisters talk about Nanny, they can’t get through a conversation without talking about her famous recipe. It, too, usually involved a night of babysitting. A pan of hot, homestyle mac and cheese is perfect for any time of the year.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, I really enjoy eating the sides over the turkey. Well, if I’m comparing Thanksgiving food, then pumpkin, sweet potato, and apple pie all take the top spot. When I started celebrating Thanksgiving with my in-laws, I found out that Fatima is the glue that brings them together. She manages to get them in one spot, and cooks most of their favorite food. This is a role Fatima inherited from her mom. However, my mother in-law is the secret weapon. She goes around to each pot and adds a bit of “this” and a bit of “that” to everything. She also supplies nearly all the food, too, making sure our tummies are full all day long.
It’s not a Thanksgiving without mac and cheese. If someone asked Fatima and I what our favorite comfort food is, we would say mac and cheese. Isn’t that what Thanksgiving really is, a plate of comfort food sides?
So, we took our favorite parts and pulled together this delicious homestyle mac and cheese. Creamy cheese, smoky flavors, and all the garlic.
One part love. Two parts creamy cheese.
Homestyle Mac and Cheese with Parmesan Garlic Bread Crumbs
For the mac & cheese:
- 1/2lb elbow macaroni
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- 2.5 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 6oz evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 tsp Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground mustard
- 3/4lb shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4oz American cheese (about 4-5 slices)
- 2 slices of young, smoked gouda cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
For the breadcrumbs:
- Measure out all of your ingredients ahead of time (you’ll thank us later).
- Take out your cheeses and set aside. Letting them come to room temperature will help in the melting process. Not required, but helpful.
- Butter a 1.5 QT glass baking, casserole, or Dutch oven. Set aside.
- Fill a medium pot with the elbow macaroni and throw a half a handful of kosher salt over the noodles.
- Run your tap water to the hottest setting. Once the water is hot, fill your pot up with water about 3 inches above the macaroni. Set aside for about 25-30 minutes. After a few minutes, stir the macaroni to avoid sticking.
While the macaroni is “cooking,” let’s make the bread crumbs:
- Crumble sliced bread in food processor and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the butter and melt it completely. Wait until you start to see it foam.
- Add crushed garlic to the skillet and cook for about a minute.
- Add breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and stir together.
- Frequently stir the breadcrumb mixture for about 7 minutes until lightly toasted.
- Add breadcrumbs to a large plate and stir in grated parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Back to the macaroni:
- Drain pasta once it’s done. The noodles should be squishy but firmer than if you cooked them in boiling water.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt 2.5 tbsp of butter
- Stir in flour until combined completely for 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk in the evaporated milk and whole milk, whisking constantly for about a minute.
- Whisk in the buffalo sauce and ground mustard. Start to let this mixture simmer while whisking.
- Turn off the heat and add in all the cheeses. Whisk together until smooth, then add salt and pepper to taste. Add more hot sauce, salt, pepper, ground mustard if necessary.
- Add in the beaten egg and whisk together.
- Drop in drained pasta and stir together until combined.
- Pour the mac and cheese mixture into your baking dish.
- Scoop breadcrumbs over the top and cover with aluminum foil.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for another 8-10 minutes until the top layer starts to brown.
- Remove the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Interested in the recipes for the other food in the pictures?
Living in a city can make grocery shopping a challenge. Especially when you have to go to the store by yourself for a million things. We’ve used FreshDirect for a few years now, and they make grocery shopping a breeze! We get to avoid the crowds and lines (a lifesaver around the holidays), and groceries come right up to our apartment. Get all the ingredients for this dish and take care of Thanksgiving at FreshDirect!
This year FreshDirect is 15, and to celebrate 15 years of FreshDirect Thanksgivings, FreshDirect is hosting 15 days of great giveaways, hot deals, can’t-miss recipes, and more! Starting Monday, November 6, they will be treating their customers to something special every day for 15 days.
To start off, they are launching their fourth annual Friendsgiving activation on Instagram, which is a digital event where friends of FreshDirect and their favorite influencers (like us!) give fans and followers turkey day inspiration. From desserts to sides to cocktails, consumers will get some tasty inspiration 11/6 through 11/21 that you and your friends will love for years to come. Check out more delicious dishes!