Neighbor's Favorite Recipe: Gloria's Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
10th Street Diner shares family-friendly favorite
Gloria's Creamy Macaroni and Cheese fits in nicely with 10th Street Diner's philosophy: It's tasty, it's friendly and it's authentic.
Pamela Thompson, co-owner of the Marysville restaurant, gives her mother, Gloria, credit for the macaroni and cheese, but that's not the whole story.
"It's funny because my mom would fix this recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas over the years. When we were opening this restaurant, I asked her, 'Mom, where'd you get this recipe?' And she said, 'Don't you remember, you gave this to me when you were in college in Sac State? You made it for a gathering we had, and I loved it and you gave me the recipe,'" Pamela said. "But I'm giving her credit because she kept it and perfected it over the years."
Samuel and Pamela, the husband-wife team who own the diner along with Porky's Hot Dogs and Ribs, located across the street from 10th Street Diner, had a vision for the restaurant even before they opened it in January.
"We wanted to bring authentic ethnic food to Marysville — that was both Southern and had an ethnic slant that wasn't here," Samuel said, talking about all the other types of ethnic restaurants in the city. "This is culmination of effort by both me and my wife. This is not only a place to eat, but a place where we could share our cooking.
"We named it the '10th Street Diner' for a reason. The reason is that it's a diner — not just to call attention to soul food, but it would leave our menu open to introduce Southern cuisine — from hot water cornbread to jambalaya to gumbo to the catfish," he said.
"We'll also be doing a series of dishes that will be rolled out over the years that we haven't even introduced yet. We want to keep the diner community-oriented so everyone feels comfortable," he added.
Samuel also explained how the diner, and other restaurants in the area, can help those who are going through tough times. "This restaurant is on a mission to encourage other restaurants that have 10 or more tables to look at reserving a table — to mirror our King's Table — to patronize their clients who have fallen on hard times. We're hoping that other restaurants will pick up this concept of offering a table free of charge to veterans and families who have fallen on hard times," he said.
"Every restaurant has enough food to give back to help the community, almost to the point where it wouldn't hurt them," he said. "I think this will catch on."
Pamela shares the cooking and serving duties with Samuel when she's not working for the state of California in Sacramento. It was also in Sacramento where her cooking skills soared.
Pamela said that while she was going to Sacramento State, she started cooking because she wanted to eat the same kinds of meals she had enjoyed at home. She said that when she'd go home on weekends, she'd ask her mother how to cook the foods she grew up on.
"So when I went back — a single girl going to college — I started cooking pork chops, cornbread beans and rice. My sisters and my friends would come over and eat, because this was as close to Mom's cooking as they were going to get," she said.
Gloria's Creamy Macaroni and Cheese isn't something that's thrown together at a moment's notice. It takes about a half hour to prepare and another 45 minutes to bake. It's also not something for weight watchers, with its sour cream, butter, milk and 2-1⁄2 cups of cheddar cheese.
Who it is for are those who like their mac and cheese smooooth and full of taste.
Pamela started by cooking the elbow noodles and, after draining, pouring them into a large casserole dish to cool while she prepared the sauce. She added 1 cup of cheese to the noodles and stirred to combine.
The sauce begins on the stove, where she heated the milk, salt and pepper and butter. As it thickened, she said it's important that the mixture be stirred frequently to prevent sticking.
When the sauce had thickened, Pamela took it off the stove to cool for a few minutes before mixing in the sour cream.
Then, pouring in 1 cup of the cheddar cheese — leaving a half cup for later — she mixed that in as well.
Being careful to not splash any of the creamy sauce, Pamela poured the mixture over the noodles and mixed all of that together. She said the mixture will be soupy, but it will thicken as it bakes. The finishing touch was to sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top and slide the casserole into the oven, which was preheated to 350 degrees.
When the dish comes out 45 minutes later, it will have a golden crust and be screaming to be enjoyed.
GLORIA'S CREAMY MACARONI AND CHEESE
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
2 cups uncooked elbow noodles
2-1⁄2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided use
1-1⁄2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1⁄2 cup flour
1⁄2 cup butter
1-1⁄2 cups sour cream
Boil noodles until al dente; drain and place in a large casserole dish. Stir in 1 cup of cheese.
In a saucepan, heat milk, salt, pepper, flour and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
After the sauce has cooled, stir in the sour cream and mix well. Add 1 cup of cheddar cheese to the sauce and mix well.
Carefully pour the sauce over the noodles and mix well. Note: The mixture will be soupy but will thicken as it bakes. Top mixture with the remaining 1⁄2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and bake for 45 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.