Miss Mary Mac’s Tea Room Mac and Cheese

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Ok, so I have had a lot of requests for this recipe.  I originally fell in love with the mac and cheese at Miss Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Atlanta.  Seriously delicious, so this is my take on the recipe.  I’ve been making it for at least ten years now so it’s changed a little, but the basics are all the same.  I’ve never really written it down so please bare with me! I warn you all, there is nothing low fat or healthy about this one.  Just pure unadulterated delicious cheesy custardy goodness that will put you in a carb coma!

Ingredients

1/2 large box Macaroni noodle of your choice

6 cups water

salt

1/4 cup flour

2-3 cups of milk

1/2-1 cup of heavy cream

1/2 stick of butter

ground white pepper

hot sauce

3 or 4 eggs

boat load of cheddar cheese (around 5/6 cups)

Boil your noodles in water with a dash of salt, about 10 minutes or so.  Strain and let strain while you make your Rue.  There is more of an art to a good Rue so this is the tricky part.

Put 1/4 cup of flour into a sauce pan.  Add about 1 cup of milk.  Put your heat on medium high/high, stir really well so that the flour and milk form a paste of sorts.  This is the part where you are cooking the flour, but you don’t want to burn it to the bottom of your pan.  So add more milk if you need it.  The consistency of your milk should become very thick, almost as thick as a good yogurt. At this point you want to add the remainder of your milk to the pan.  Keeping the heat medium.  The goal is now to get your milk at that similar consistency.  Bring your milk to a low boil, keep stirring or it will go over the sides.  Now turn the heat to low.  You will do this boil, simmer process around three times.  Can’t remember the exact cooking term for this, but it is an important step.  Add dash or more of white pepper, a couple of drops of hot sauce, and a handful of shredded cheddar cheese.

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Now in a separate bowl, beat your eggs until they are light yellow in color.  The next thing you will do is take a small measuring cup full of the milk mixture and beat it into the eggs.  This is tempering the eggs, so that when you add it to the milk, you don’t have scrambled eggs.  After then eggs are tempered (warm) then add the egg mixture to your milk mixture (with the pan off the heat).

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In a medium sized casserole dish, spray with non-stick spray and add a handful of shredded cheese.  Top with your strained noodles and mix the cheese and noodles together.   Now take your milk custard (by the way that is what your milk and egg mixture is now) and pour over your noodle and cheese mixture.  I always mix up the noodles and custard to be sure that it’s evenly spread.  Next top with all of your cheddar cheese.

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I typically will prepare the mac and cheese the day before I bake it.  I am not really sure why, but the custard always seems to set faster/better when I do this.  So wrap the casserole dish in tin foil and put in the fridge.

Bake at 350 degree oven for anywhere from 20-40 minutes.  You want the custard to set. i.e. when you shake the dish, you don’t see a lot of liquid custard, but it jiggles like Jello.  🙂

Your welcome and don’t forget I warned you! Don’t expect to do much of anything after a good serving of this!  Up next on my prep menu… aNut Davetta’s Sweet Potato Casserole!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Emily

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The BEST Turkey Brine Recipe…

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So it’s here, Thanksgiving is tomorrow and preparation is in full force.  For the last several years I have been testing out various brining recipes.  Last year, I came across this one.  It either came from one of about three sources.  My co-worker Adam, The Pioneer Woman, or Southern Living.  I hand wrote the recipe and I didn’t write the source down, so my sincere apologies, as I always like to give the original source.  Without further adieu.

Brine for Turkey

2 gallons of water (give or take)

3 cups apple cider ( I probably use more apple cider than water – about 3/4 of a gallon)

2 cups packed brown sugar

3/4 cup salt (I use sea salt)

3 tablespoons tricolor peppercorns

5 whole bay leaves

5 cloves garlic, minced

Peel of 3 large oranges, cut into large strips (I just slice the oranges into whole slices and use the orange pulp and peel)

4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves stripped off

1 turkey

Combine water, cider, brown sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, orange strips, and rosemary in a large pot.  Stir until salt and sugar are fully dissolved.  Bring to a boil them turn off and cover.  Cool completely.  If you are like we are, put your pot on your back porch.  It’s cold enough out there to be a second fridge.  After the brine is completely cool, put your turkey in.  In my case, my pot was not that large, so, take a cooler, put in your bird, then pour over his cold brine bath.  Let turkey bath for 16 to 24 hours.

Before cooking, rise and submerge turkey in a pot of cold water and let sit for 15/20 minutes.  Last year I am pretty sure that I skipped the let sit part, I am pretty sure that I just washed him off and then seasoned with a little butter and put him in the oven.

Then stuff/cook/do whatever you will with your bird.  We will be roasting our lil’ “punkin” as Addison has named her this year.  I will try to remember to post some photos of the after on Instagram, so follow along.

I will also be making the Southern Living, Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie again this year.  Depending on how the day goes, I will hopefully get that recipe up here as well!

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Travel safely friends and enjoy your time with friends and family!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Emily