I still like my creamy version better, but I am coming around to Johnny’s casserole-style Mac ‘n Cheese, which doesn’t require you to make a separate sauce and may (aren’t I kind?) just sit a little better on a buffet. *Tip: Make sure you’re using evaporated milk, which is basically just canned concentrated milk, and not condensed milk, which is sweet. The cans are usually right next to each other in the supermarket and it’s an easy mistake to make!
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish
- 3 cups (3/4 pound) dry elbow macaroni
- 2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons seasoning salt, such as Lawry’s
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 4 cups (1 pound) extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 cups (1/2 pound) Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- Paprika, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously butter a 9-x-13-inch glass baking dish; set aside (I like to use my tagine since it goes beautifully from oven to table). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and according to package directions until al dente. Drain well and return the pasta to pot. Add the 4 tablespoons butter and toss until pasta is coated and butter has melted; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, whole milk, and eggs. Stir in the seasoning salt, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper; set aside. In another medium bowl, combine cheddar and Jack cheeses; set aside.
Spread one third of the macaroni in an even layer in the bottom of the buttered baking dish or tagine; cover evenly with one third of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining macaroni and shredded cheeses. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the contents of the baking dish, sprinkle with paprika, and bake until the top layer is lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.