I haven’t actually eaten much mac n’ cheese in my life. But I think this will make your mom cry – it’s that good. Warm up your favorite saucepan. Throw in a pat of butter. Let that melt. Keep the heat medium. Toss a tablespoon of cornstarch and mix mix mix – don’t let this mini-roux burn! Pour in some milk (I actually used soymilk). Then, a little white wine. As you wait for the temperature of the pan to rise, open a package of frozen spinach. Toss the spinach into a bowl, then to the microwave. Mince garlic. Shred white cheddar cheese onto a plate. I used Tillamook . (Costco sells Tillamook’s 2-yr old white cheddar in 2-lb hunks.) Squeeze as much water from the spinach as you can. Add the garlic to the sauce, and just wait at least 30 seconds or so before adding the spinach and cheese. Be generous with black pepper. If you have a scotch bonnet lying about, maybe you could use a smidgen of that. Serve this cheese sauce over piping hot elbow macaroni. The white wine pushes this dish over the edge – just a bit of tanginess to accentuate the cheddar.
P.S. This dish freezes beautifully – I made it last weekend, ate some, and froze the rest. Had some this weekend, and it was as good, if not better, than hot off the stove.
P.P.S. I don’t think I could handle just a cheese sauce. The spinach for me adds depth and textural interest!
Update: (03/07/08) – pictures of Tillamook, in its native habitat.