Mac and Pimento Cheese
I’m pretty sure that every southern woman worth her salt, has a pimento cheese recipe or two or three. We like to shake it up and add in some unexpected ingredients. Some horseradish in this one or some cream cheese in that one. Well, I really shook up my pimento cheese recipe. I added macaroni to it. Why not? It seemed like a natural thing to do. Mac & cheese is a perfect combination. Pimento cheese is a perfect combination of peppers and cheese. Why not combine all three? So, I did and it’s done and it tastes great. It’s a natural combination. Like chocolate and peanut butter, milk and cookies, potato chips and ketchup. OK, maybe not the potato chips and ketchup. That’s just some freaky thing my sister did. But, macaroni and pimento cheese is a good combination. Give it a try.
The cast for this evenings dish.
Cook the box of macaroni according to the box directions. Drain and set aside.
Shred the cheese, saving ¾ cup to top the casserole. Open and drain the can of pimentos. Pat them dry and open them to lay flat. Give them rough chop.
Save out two thin strips so that you can decorate the casserole dish, nice and purty.
While the pasta is cooking, put 4 tablespoons of butter in a large pot.
Melt it over medium heat. Then, whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour and let that cook for 2 to 3 minutes. I used whole wheat flour, so mine is browner than if I used white flour.
Pour in the milk and add the salt, pepper and dry mustard and stir to combine.
Whisk while cooking until it thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese, chopped pimentos and mayonnaise.
Fold in the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour it all out into the greased casserole dish and sprinkle with ¾ cup of that shredded cheddar. Then, artfully arrange those pimento strips.
Bake. Eat. Enjoy.
- 1 - 16 oz box of macaroni
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 4 Tablespoons AP flour. I used whole white wheat.
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 cups milk. I used Almond milk
- 1 – can of pimento peppers 4 to 7 ounce size.
- 2 – 8 oz packages of cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- Prepare macaroni noodles according to package directions. When done, drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350º. Coat a 2 quart casserole dish with spray oil.
- Drain and pat dry the pimentos. Give them a rough chop. Reserve two long strips for garnish, if desired.
- Shred cheese and reserve ¾ cup to top casserole before baking.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add in the flour and whisk until smooth. Continue whisking for 2 to 3 minutes to cook the flour. Pour in the milk and add the salt, ground pepper and dry mustard. Raise heat to medium high and continue whisking until it thickens, around 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the shredded cheese, chopped pimentos and mayonnaise. Whisk until the cheese is mostly melted and the ingredients are fully combined. Fold in the cooked macaroni and mix well.
- Pour the cheesy macaroni into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and arrange the two pimento strips on the center of the dish.
- Bake at 350º for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese top and melted and started to brown. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.