Thursday, May 29, 2008
Sweetie Pie's Macaroni and Cheese
There was an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on recently that I couldn't stop thinking about. Like Mama Made featured a restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri run by Robbie Montgomery, former back-up singer for Ike and Tina Turner and Soul Food Chef Extraordinaire. She was cookin' up the biggest batches of the most delicious looking fried chicken, sweet potatoes and macaroni and cheese you'd ever like to see.
I watched as she made her famous macaroni and cheese and wasn't fast enough to get pen and paper to write it down. I searched in earnest yesterday and came across a review of her place at Is it EDible? and Ed had linked to a news story that features the very recipe I'd been trying to get my hands on. God love fellow bloggers!
I made this for dinner tonight, but I have to issue a stern warning; This is not for the faint of heart - and I mean that quite literally! I got a 10 x 15 pan out of this and we didn't finish off but a third of it. This is so filling and so delicious, but so very rich that I can't see making it all-too often. The kids were just crazy about it and when Lara dropped some from her tray, our chihuahua, Molly, was all too happy to clean it up for me.
9/2/2008 - After all of the comments I've received on this, I decided to step in here and edit this post. I've come across two things; another article from the AP that contains the recipe, and a YouTube clip of the episode in question.
The AP article reads, "Robbie Montgomery, owner of the two Sweetie Pie’s restaurants in the St. Louis area, says this macaroni and cheese is her take on one taught to her by a band member when she toured as a backup singer with Ike and Tina Turner during the 1960s.
Montgomery cooks to taste and says this recipe is easily adjusted. For instance, she sometimes omits the eggs."
In light of this last statement, it may be that Robbie simply felt like using sour cream that night and didn't put it in the written recipe. She used an awful lot of milk, though and she may have just used whole milk for the whole thing rather than a mixture of whole milk and evaporated milk during filming. From what I can see in the video, it looks to be about 1 cup of sour cream to the batch she is making there, which is about double the recipe below.
I've added the sour cream in red and you can add it if you'd like.
I hope this will help to clear up any of the confusion. Short of calling Robbie Montgomery myself (I think she's a little busy for a call from me), this will have to do!
SWEETIE PIE'S MACARONI AND CHEESE
Start to finish: 45 minutes.
1 pound elbow macaroni pasta
1 cup whole milk
Two 12-ounce cans evaporated milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 pound colby cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pound Velveeta cheese, cut into small chunks
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup shredded American or mild Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer the pasta to a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the whole milk, evaporated milk (sour cream) and eggs. Mix with a fork until thoroughly combined.
Add the butter and colby, Monterey Jack, sharp Cheddar and Velveeta cheeses to the pasta.
Pour the milk and egg mixture over the pasta. Season with salt, pepper and sugar and toss. Sprinkle the top of the pasta with the remaining cup of American or Cheddar cheese.
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.