Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

The Special Occasion Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and Cheese by Cheryl D. LeeNot a holiday goes by in my family without macaroni and cheese gracing the table. I literally do not remember life with no macaroni and cheese in it! I bet some relative has a black and white picture of me in a high chair eating macaroni and cheese with my fingers. It does not matter what holiday, be it Kwanzaa, Christmas, Easter, or a birthday… this is a special dish to be shared with loved ones.

My maternal side of the family is from Louisiana, and the South likes a certain type of macaroni and cheese. This type in no way resembles that stuff that comes out of a box. It is not like the kind you can stir together on the stove top, although I have had some very tasty stove top macaroni and cheeses in my day.  This recipe is an extremely rich, custard based, macaroni and cheese.  It’s a wonderful vegetarian main dish for your holiday table, or a fabulous side dish. 

I reserve this macaroni and cheese recipe for special occasions, such as the holidays, because it does not skimp on calories. It is loaded with cheese, eggs and cream, so please do not blame me if you gain a couple of pounds when you cannot resist going back for seconds or even thirds!

Macaroni and Cheese

16 ounces elbow macaroni
16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup AP flour
3 teaspoons sea salt
3 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-1/3 cups sour cream
4 eggs
4 cups half and half
2 cups heavy cream


  1. Cook the macaroni according to package directions.  Rinse with cool water and drain well.  Place the macaroni into a buttered 15 X 9 in. casserole dish.
  2. Grate the cheese in a food processor, then mix about 2/3 of the grated cheese into the cooled macaroni. Set aside the remaining cheese.
  3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, mustard, cayenne and black pepper.
  4. Whisk the sour cream into the dry ingredients until incorporated. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the half and half and cream.  Pour the custard over the macaroni.
  5. Top the macaroni and custard with the remaining cheese.
  6. Bake the macaroni and cheese for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned around the edges.  The custard will be a bit jiggly in the center, but firms up as it cools.
  7. Let the macaroni and cheese rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Cheryl D. Lee is a Food Blogger and Chef at
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This entry was posted on December 21, 2012 by in Recipe and tagged , , , , .

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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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