It's no wonder the holidays and macaroni and cheese go together so well: They're both warm, comforting and filled with more than their share of cheesy moments.
With Thanksgiving but a week away, we've enlisted cheese expert Laura Werlin to show you the whey to macaroni mastery.
Laura Werlin is the James Beard award-winning cookbook author of The All American Cheese and Wine Book. Her sixth book, Mac & Cheese, Please!, will be released December 4. You can find her on Twitter as @cheezelady if that tells you anything about her fervor for fromage.
Five Tips to a (Mac &) Cheesy Thanksgiving: Laura Werlin
1. Return of the Mac
Nearly everyone has a childhood memory of macaroni and cheese. The dish is a perennial favorite regardless of age, and is definitely the ultimate comfort food for winter.
I personally like the sweetness that onions add but, if you prefer, you can simply leave them out of this classic recipe. The dish will likely make it into your regular repertoire either way! Once you have a classic recipe, the possibilities are endless for what you can add in - bacon or arugula anyone?
Classic Mac & Cheese
1 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp kosher salt
8 oz small elbow macaroni
5 Tbsp salted butter, plus more for baking dish
2 cups coarse, fresh breadcrumbs (preferably homemade)
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups whole or reduced-fat milk
1 cup heavy cream
6 oz medium or aged cheddar cheese, preferably orange, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)