Mrs. Jones was one of my cousins’ nursery school teachers, and although I really think of this as my aunt’s recipe — she passed it on to me — I have preserved the original name because I like the history of it!
For me, this is the macaroni & cheese recipe to beat: it remains my favorite, and I compare any other mac & cheese I eat to it. However, I don’t make it often because the boys won’t eat it (they prefer to boxed stuff instead). Jodi was a willing diner last Monday, though, so I jumped at the chance to make it again. This time I cut the leftovers into several squares and froze them in individual portions. I was really pleased to see that this recipe defrosted nicely just by throwing it in the fridge overnight, and reheating it in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
If you are looking for a creamy, saucy recipe, this is not it. Mrs. Jones’ version bakes up into a firm, casserole-type macaroni & cheese that is very easy to prepare. The dry mustard and cayenne give it just enough dimension to taste like so much more than pasta and cheese mixed together, without being spicy. I usually use whole wheat pasta, which works just as well as plain white.
Mrs. Jones’ Macaroni & Cheese
Recipe from my Aunt Barbara
1 lb. small pasta (shells or macaroni), cooked in salted water
2 Tbsp. butter
1 lb. reduced-fat cheddar cheese, finely grated
12 oz. evaporated skim milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
pinch cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Put the hot, drained macaroni back in the pot you cooked it in, and mix in the butter until pasta is completely coated. Mix in the cheddar cheese and stir until cheese is well-distributed. Spoon mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish and use the back of the spoon to lightly pack it into the pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together and pour over the pasta and cheese. Bake 30-40 minutes, until set and crusty on top.