Did U.S. founding father, Jurist, diplomat, writer, inventor, philosopher, architect, gardener, negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase, Minister to France, first Secretary of State, second Vice President, and third President of United States of America Thomas Jefferson invent Mac N Cheese?
Jefferson served Mac N Cheese at his home Monticello often, and there is this well-known surviving document with a sketch and description of how to make macaroni in Jefferson’s own handwriting. As President Jefferson had Mac N Cheese served at a State Dinner in 1802. So, TJ can definitely take credit for the growing popularity of Mac N Cheese. He was a huge fan of Ice Cream and French Fries as well.
The question remains, is President Thomas Jefferson the inventor of Mac N Cheese? Actually, while serving as minister to France Jefferson and his man James Hennings discovered Mac N Cheese in Paris and brought the recipe back to Monticello.
So, TJ is not the inventor and Mac N Cheese is not unique to the USA as some believe. In fact, Pasta and Cheese recipes date back to Italy and the 14th century. Since then, there are tens of thousands of versions of good ole Mac N Cheese. Here is another. Enjoy!
Stovetop Mac N Cheese with Gluten Free and Dairy Free alternatives
EQUIPMENT: Measuring cup and spoons, food cutter (#2 Julienne blade), 5-quart Soup Pot
PREPARATION: 1 hour - Makes 4 to 6 servings
- Kosher salt
- 3 cups macaroni; rice flour for gluten free
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter; for dairy free, Parkay or soy margarine
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour; rice flour for gluten free
- 1 cup whole milk; rice milk for dairy free
- 1¾ cups (about 5 ounces) Lorraine Swiss cheese, diced; Manchego Spanish goat cheese for dairy free
- 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, diced; vegan cheddar for dairy free
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ cup Pecorino cheese, grated (#1 grating blade); sheep’s milk version for dairy free
In a large pot of salted boiling water over medium heat 240°F (116°C), cook the macaroni according to the directions on the label or until al dente. Drain the pasta, remove to a large serving bowl, and keep warm.
In the same soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat 240°F (116°C). Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk. Cook, whisking until the mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-low 180°F (82°C), and add the cheese in handfuls, whisking to melt and combine. Season with the mustard, white pepper, and salt to taste. Add the cooked pasta and stir well to coat all of the pasta with the sauce. Top with grated Pecorino and enjoy