Editor’s Note (Sept. 16, 2018): Added two new photos. See video for this recipe on Facebook.
After many years of making mac ‘n cheese with just black rind hoop cheddar cheese (sharp), I felt inspired to add Monterey Jack and mozzarella cheese. Delicious!
For years, I used regular block cheese, shredded cheese, and grated cheese. Recently discovered packaged shredded and grated cheeses have a special coating to prevent caking. So, I switched to buying regular blocks and black rind hoop cheese (a little more expensive). ‘Hoop’ is the shaping molds used in making cheese. Available in wedges or large twenty-pound wheels. The black rind is sharp cheddar cheese. The red rind is mild. Hoop cheese is a firm, dry cheese made directly from milk, with no cream or salt. It’s easily grated or chopped with a knife. Available in the dairy or meat section of most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, ask an employee for assistance.
Several years ago (2006 or 2007), I had a pleasant conversation with a church member in the parking lot as we waited for traffic to subside after a powerful service. At the time, our mega church had over 18,000 members. I had never met this church member. She provided a nugget of info that would forever change how I make macaroni and cheeses. I’ll never use whole milk again! We talked about Sunday dinner. She asked if I ever used buttermilk to make macaroni and cheese. I said no. The friendly sister was right when she told me that after I try buttermilk, I’ll never use whole milk again. I’ve never seen her before or after that day. An angel? I like to think so!
Baked this recipe in a favorite cast iron pan made by Lodge Manufacturing.