[dropcap]P[/dropcap]atti LaBelle says that the sure sign of a good cook is if their mac and cheese recipe will make you cry. Oprah personally endorsed those happy tears in an appearance on her show back in the 1990s. To start the segment, Patti told a legendary story of cooking this comfort food for Elton John when they were all touring in 1960's London. Still known as Reginald Dwight back then, Patti said her macaroni and cheese made Elton see Jesus. If this isn't reason enough to try her recipe, we don't know what is!
Patti LaBelle Cooks Mac n' Cheese On The Oprah Show
In her story about Elton John, Patti explains that it all began when she won all of his money playing cards. Because of this, Elton John didn't have any money to buy food, so Patti took pity on him and invited him and his band over for some soul food. As she recounts the story, she said "Boo, since I took all your money, the least I could do is feed you."
To feed Elton John and the band, she made cabbage, mac and cheese and chicken, giving them a classic intro into soul food classics. Upon experiencing her cheesy, "cholesterol heaven" mac and cheese, Elton John was blown away and in Patti's words, "saw Jesus." The singer was a lover of soul food from that moment on. As LaBelle says, she doesn't know who turned Elton John onto soul music, but she takes credit for turning him onto soul food, and it all goes back to her mac and cheese.
LaBelle then jokes about how Elton John took her Tupperware back to her place and never returned it. She still wants it back, Elton!
Patti LaBelle's Over the Rainbow Mac and Cheese
Although her recipe has changed a bit over the years, it still packs a punch with its cheesiness and creaminess, blowing your standard mac n cheese out of the water. Patti LaBelle herself has given her blessing to change what you want in order to cut back on cholesterol and saturated fat.
As she explains it, this dish is only one to be eaten a few times a year, and she always makes a "cute batch" and a "boring batch" for those who can't handle it. The "boring batch" will have less butter, half and half and cheese, so it's the better choice for those watching cholesterol or calories.
Despite how unhealthy it might be, LaBelle says that the Velveeta is really what puts this recipe in the best mac category, making it perfectly smooth. This recipe uses 5 different cheeses, uses a generous amount of half and half, doesn't skimp on the butter, and even has a few eggs added in for fluffiness. According to LaBelle, you'll fly when you eat it. After combining all the ingredients, cook the soul food dish until it's brown, cute and bubbly and then you "take that girl out."
Find the recipe on the Cooking Channel.
How to Serve Patti's Mac and Cheese
Oprah says to serve this cheesy delight with smothered chicken and greens, which makes for a balanced meal full of protein and nutrients. Go for soul food classics like collard greens, black eyed peas or okra to stick with the theme and make Patti proud.
This post was originally published on April 20, 2021.