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Recipe for :

Horn & Hardart's Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission of Arthur Schwartz and comes from his latest book Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food.

For more than 30 years, Arthur Schwartz, was a newspaper food editor, columnist and restaurant critic. For nearly 13 years, he was the host of the nationally syndicated "Food Talk," the first and still most commercially successful radio food program in the US. He is the author of six cookbooks, including the best-selling "Naples At Table: Cooking in Campania," considered a definitive work even by Neapolitans, and the award-winning "Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An opinionated history with legendary recipes."

He lectures extensively at museums, libraries, and for benefit and community audiences. He teaches cooking at many venues in metropolitan New York City, and, for the last five years, at his own cooking school, Cook at Seliano, in Paestum, based at Baronessa Cecilia's two neighboring farms, Tenuta Seliano and Masseria Eliseo - onderful cooking vacations in Campania!

Cook at Seliano takes place in Campani which is the region in which the famed Amalfi Coast is located. If the idea of taking a cooking vacation and cooking tour with Arthur appeals to you then to find out more click here.

Horn & Hardart was a Philadephia and New York restaurant chain that also had stores specializing in take-out. With the TV and radio advertising motto "Less work for mother" they actually pioneered the concept of prepared foods to eat at home.

The restaurants were called Automats because, besides a cafeteria line, they featured food behind tiny glass windows that was accessed by putting a few nickels in the slots. The last Automat - on Third Aveenue and 42nd Street - closed only about ten years ago. It's now a GAP. But New Yorkers and Philadephians old enough to have experienced Horn & Hardart have deep nostalgia for many of its specialties. The macaroni and cheese is probably prime among them.

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons light cream (see note)
1 packed cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup crushed tomatoes (I used Pomi, you can use any canned product)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Dash cayenne pepper (I used several dashes)
Dash white pepper
1/2 pound small elbow macaroni, cooked until barely done

Method

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, blend in flour and cook about 2 minutes.
  • Beat in the milk, then the cream and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to the boil and thickens. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the cheese until melted, then the crushed tomatoes, sugar and two peppers.
  • Stir in the macaroni.
  • Pour into a shallow, buttered baking dish and bake in a preheated 400°F oven until the surface browns, 25 to 30 minutes.

Note:

This recipe must have been broken down from one that made an enormous quantity, which explains the small amount of light cream. If you don't want to purchase a half-pint container of light cream just for two tablespoons, simply add two tablespoons more milk. You'll never know the difference. I also think it needs a little salt, which is not called for in the recipe.

Serves: 2 or 3

Arthur Schwartz
www.foodmaven.com

Reprinted with permission from Arthur Schwartz

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