At Homeroom in Oakland, California, Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade have centered their menu around one thing, macaroni and cheese. The dish is perennially popular with both children and adults, creamy comfort food that warms the heart and fills the belly. In a book simply called The Macaroni + Cheese Cookbook the pair share their secrets for all kinds of mac and cheese from classic to outlandish (mac cakes anyone?). There's even a vegan mac with soy milk, tofu, and nutritional yeast.
Great macaroni and cheese starts with a creamy béchamel sauce and pasta cooked al dente. From there the sky is the limit. The restaurant has created jalapeño popper macaroni and cheese for a Super Bowl party and breakfast mac with bacon and eggs. They've gone international adapting the basic recipe to create Mexican mac and cheese with chorizo and Southeast Asian mac with sriracha and green onion. A shepard's pie version subs mac and cheese for the traditional potato topping. The book also includes wine and beer pairings as well as recipes for side dishes such as Brussels sprouts with bacon, roasted carrots with citrus vinaigrette, and an heirloom tomato salad. The book finishes with a chapter on traditional homey desserts from banana cream pie, carrot cake, homemade Oreos and yes, there's a dessert mac and cheese with mascarpone and raspberry jam.
This is far from an essential cookbook but it is a fun one and a good reason to look forward to fall's cooler temperatures when there's nothing better than creamy, warm, comforting macaroni and cheese.