Monday, December 5, 2016

BBQ Mac & Cheese

I've mentioned this before, but I was a very picky child.  My mom is a good cook, but ungrateful little me had very particular taste buds.  My palate expanded hugely when I was a foreign exchange student my freshman year of high school, and I returned to the US as an adventurous eater, but my parents separated while I was out of the country and my mom didn't cook much after that.  That's pretty much when I started learning to cook!

Because all of my years of being fortunate enough to have my mom cook dinner every night coincided with me being a picky eater, there aren't actually very many recipes in my "lifetime favorites from Mom" recipe category.  I've always loved her white chicken chili, 57 Meatballs, a mushroom chicken casserole recipe I haven't had since I was about 13 years old, an herbed chicken and potatoes recipe I haven't made yet, pumpkin spice cookies, and... this recipe.  (Side note: why haven't I shared any of these favorite on this blog in the 5 years I've been posting?)
It's not really the kind of recipe my mom would usually make and I'm not sure why she chose to make it since the ingredients are a bit odd, but make it she did.  As a mac and cheese lover from the start, even the rather strong flavors appealed to me and this was one of my favorite things my mom made when I was a kid.  The original recipe was apparently called Macaroni for Morons (mean!), but young me named it BBQ Mac & Cheese and that's how it has been known ever since.  There isn't any BBQ sauce in it, but it has a slightly similar flavor and apparently 6 year old me thought it tasted like BBQ sauce.  My mom's version actually has more butter, more cheese, and no mustard, but my husband and I like it this way :)
BBQ Mac & Cheese
1 lb macaroni
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 C chili sauce (Heinz chili sauce, not the spicy asian kind)
1/4 C Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 C grated sharp cheddar cheese
black pepper and seasoned salt to taste
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add macaroni.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until macaroni is tender.  Drain and return to pot.  Add butter, place pot back on burner over low, and cook until butter melts.  Add chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard, and stir to combine.  Add cheese and stir until melted and hot.  Stir in pepper and seasoned salt to taste.
Yield:  About 8 side dish servings.

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