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January 27, 2010

Mid-Century Menu – Macaroni Loaf

Even though I try not to cook out of the same cookbook twice in a row, the Prize Winning Recipes from American Beauty  Macaroni was calling to me again this week. Since the mediocre sucess that was Mexican Macaroni Casserole last week, not much has changed for this cookbook.  It is still kind of creepy, and the recipes are still from institutions.

In that vein, the recipe I picked for this week is something that was created by Winning S. Pentergast for the Detroit Public School System.  Now, I am a newer Michigan resident, and didn’t go to school here, but if anyone out there went to the Detroit Public Schools in the 1950’s, let us know if you remember this recipe.  I would love to hear about it!!

Sorry about the bad quality on this one, guys.  The scanner is down, so I had to make do with a photo.  I swear, when one piece of equipment around here goes down, everything goes down.

Anyway, this plucky little macaroni loaf is notable for two reasons.  The first is that it looks like a rubber brick with fake blood on it.  The second reason  is because it contains that crazy mid-century ingredient, pimentos.  Gotta love pimentos.  They used to put it in everything!

You can see the aforementioned pimentos in the center of the ingredients.  That jar of pimentos actually is from the clearance rack of the grocery store.  You know the place where they sell expired baby food and 3 day old donuts?  Anyway, I usually don’t shop on that rack, because I am scared of food poisoning, but one day I walked by and a big splotch of red caught my eye. There was this huge stack of jarred pimentos for a quarter each.  A quarter!  I had been shelling out like $2 each when I needed them for previous MCMenus. I checked the expiration date, and it was a nice, far away 2012. Score. I bought 6 jars and was pretty proud of myself for the rest of the day.

The melted butter, flour and seasonings in the pan.

The flour roux, bubbling away nicely.

Here it is after the first small addition of milk.

The thickened sauce, with all the cheese melted in.  It actually looked really good and very smooth. Way to go, Winning!

Fresh parsley and the famous cheap pimentos. This is actually starting to look pretty good.

In the pot with the cheese sauce.

Here it is, colorful and mixed in nicely.

A nice action shot, taken by Tom, of me pouring.  As you can see, the macaroni is already in the mixture.  I must have been distracted and forgotten to take a picture of that step. Ah well!

The loaf in the 8 inch pan, ready for the oven.  It looks sort of pale and weak looking here, but that may be because I used a white cheddar.

Fresh from the oven, golden brown and delicious.

The first bite.  As you can see on Tom’s plate, I must not have cooked the flour mixture long enough, because the loaf definitely did not come out as a loaf.  It wasn’t as stiff as the picture, and we ended up just scooping it out with a spoon.  Also, Tom used homemade hot sauce instead of tomato sauce on his “loaf”.

“So, how is it?”

Here he is, shrugging his shoulders!

“It is good,”  he said, “a little floury, but it tastes pretty much like mac and cheese.”

I took a bite.  He was right, it just tasted like mac and cheese, but good mac and cheese.  I liked the taste the pimentos and parsley added, and I was glad I hadn’t cooked the cheese sauce too long, because it was nice and creamy. For once, one of my mistakes turned out ok!

The Verdict:  Good. If I make it again, I will cook the cheese sauce a little longer (but not much) and probably add at least twice as much cheese.  Probably more. If you want to try a mid-century recipe, I recommend this one!

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12 Responses to Mid-Century Menu – Macaroni Loaf

  1. Sara in AZ Reply

    January 27, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Hooray for a good MCM meal!!! It actually does look pretty good from your pics. I wonder how long they had to cook it to get it to stay in that brick shape??? 🙂

  2. Deb Reply

    January 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Reading the recipe…there’s no way this could magically turn into a loaf…glad it was good, tho!

  3. Annie B. Reply

    January 27, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Glad it came out well! I just love the name of the recipe’s creator!

  4. Angela Reply

    January 27, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    This past weekend I decided to attempt to bake a cake and do a little photo journaling of the process like you do with your MCM. It was so hard!!! I have no idea how you manage to remember to take photos of each step, especially ones in which you are stirring, pouring, whisking in ingredients a little at a time, etc. Seriously, I give you mad props for that! I also adore MCM and look forward to Wednesday every week 🙂

  5. sablemable Reply

    January 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    LOL, we forgive you, Ruth for taking a shortcut on the photo taking!!!!!

    Yeah, this looks pretty good. Might try it this week.

    Hope there is someone out there reading this who ate this while attending Detroit schools. I’d like to hear what they’d have to say about it, too.

    Tom-Tom has the greatest repetoire of faces! LOL!

  6. Amy Reply

    January 28, 2010 at 3:39 am

    He looks pretty indifferent to it but it’s cool how you make recipes from old books – love em!

  7. Kelly Reply

    January 28, 2010 at 9:55 am

    This looks so good! Now I am intrigued about the grocery store clearance rack…I’m going to have to ask if our store has one. I’d be all up in some cheap groceries! 🙂

  8. Andrea Reply

    January 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Hmm .. I might have to actually try this one – hubby LOVES mac and cheese, so this would be right up his alley!

  9. RetroRuth Reply

    January 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks for the comments, everyone! Deb, I agree with you about it not turning into a loaf. Maybe they left out an egg or something!

    Andrea – email me a pic if you try it, would love to see the results!!

  10. Meem Reply

    January 29, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I always get hungry reading this, it makes me wish you were cooking here again!!! Love, meeem

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