Coast Cooking

Macaroni and cheese is a Southern staple

By JULIAN BRUNT

Special to the Sun Herald

Make your own macaroni and cheese with fresh, local ingredients.
Make your own macaroni and cheese with fresh, local ingredients.

How could I blog about Southern food and not include macaroni and cheese?

Many of us were raised on the Kraft boxed version, and for kids, there is nothing wrong with that. But once we quit wearing shorts to Sunday school, things need to change.

The basics are quite simple: cooked pasta is combined with a combination of cheeses and cream, just lightly seasoned. What could be easier?

Good macaroni and cheese is easy, but you have to use the best ingredients. Yes, be sure to use a top-quality, imported pasta, Country Girls fresh, locally made cream, and use the best cheese. The best melting cheese in the world is Gruyere. It is good enough to use on its own, but if you want to combine it with a little Irish white cheddar or a domestic artisan cheddar, that will work just as well. If you want to go that extra step, take a cup or two of panko bread crumbs, stir into some melted butter, and top your macaroni and cheese with that mixture, just before you pop it into the oven to brown. Try this method and you will never go back to the box.

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