Home Cook Friendly Version of Hattie B's Pimento Mac & Cheese
Milk- 1/2 gallon (2 qts.)
Crushed Red Pepper- 1.5 teaspoons
Salt- 1.5 Tablespoons
Black Pepper- 1.5 teaspoons
Combine all of these ingredients in a 4- 5 Qt. stock pot and bring to a simmer.... Do Not boil or it may cause milk to scorch!
Ingredients for the Roux
Butter- 1/2 pound
All Purpose Flour- 1/2 pound
*Important to measure out ingredients for a roux- equals parts butter to flourIn a small sauce pot (1qt) melt all of the butter completely. Once butter is melted, add the flour all at once. Whisk to combine the ingredients into a smooth mixture. Simmer your roux for 5 minutes to make sure all the raw flour is cooked out. Once it has simmered for five minutes, add all of the roux into the simmering Milk mixture. Make sure the milk mixture is at a simmer so the roux makes an immediate bond. Whisk very well. You will see the sauce become thick. You want to simmer this entire mixture for an additional 5-10 minutes. Note: For a roux to hit its maximum thickening power it must be simmered.
Ingredients to Finish
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese (the sharper the better for pimento cheese!)
1.5 pounds plus 1 cup (to top the mac at the end) - grated
Diced Pimentos- 10 oz jar- “juice and all” or chop a roasted red pepper for maximum flavor
Butter- 1 stick (8 tablespoons)
To finish your sauce: Throw in the diced pimentos “juice and All” along with the 1.5 pounds of cheese and diced butter. Melt all of these ingredients completely. Turn your flame off at this point just so you don't scorch your cheese and give it a really good whisk. The more you whisk, the faster it will melt. Cool sauce down completely in a storage container (3 qt container). This helps relax the gluten so it heats up beautifully!
Elbow macaroni- 1 pound (uncooked)
Yields about 8 cups
Cook in salted boiling water until Al dente (to the tooth) about 7-8 minutes for most pastas. Strain when finished.
PRE HEAT OVEN TO 375
Things you will need:
1 qt measuring vessel
10 x 12 in baking dish (1/2 hotel pan)
Mix your cheese and pasta - 2 qts of cheese sauce to 2 qts of cooked pasta.
Place cooled cheese sauce in a mixing bowl along with the pasta (pasta doesn't need to be cooled necessarily)
Mix until completely combined.
Scrape the mixture out with the rubber spatula into your baking vessel
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes cover. Yes, this seems like a long time but if your cheese sauce is completely cooled then it will take the entire 40 minutes to properly get to temp.
Once your timer goes off... take mac out and give the whole pan a good stir with the rubber spatula.... Smooth everything out and top with the 1 cup of shredded cheese.
Place the mac back in the oven - Uncovered - for no more than 5 minutes; just to brown the cheese.
Serve Family style!