For those of you who don't know what I mean by 'Yooper' it's the nickname for those that live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
This dish is my husband's and his brothers' favorite thing their mom made for them. I tried making it once based on dh's description, but of course it didn't turn out quite the same. Later I learned I'd left out a few things. (big surprise) So while we were visiting I watched her make it and made it yesterday. The good points about this dish: it's cheap; can be healthy depending on how you make it; it makes a lot; everyone likes it; it's easy.
1 pound package or 4 cups regular old elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
3 or more cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c breadcrumbs, seasoned or plain
1 15oz can diced tomatoes and juice
1/2 to 1 whole stick of butter, preferable cold
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Note: the results are much better if you use a deep casserole dish as opposed to a 9x13. The deeper the better- somehow it's cheesier and tastier that way.
Butter the dish you are using and spread a layer of macaroni on top. (approx. 1 cup of macaroni, however I probably did more because I only had room for three layers)
Sprinkle salt and pepper next, then a layer of cheese. Next sprinkle enough breadcrumbs on top for a light coating. Cut the butter into pats, about 1 tsp per piece and layer on top,or you can crumble it all over the top. (works better if the butter is cold) Repeat layers making sure there's plenty of cheese for the top. After putting the butter slices on the last layer, pour the juice from the can of tomatoes all over the top and spread the tomatoes on the very top. I added a bit of salt to them as well. Bake, covered with foil or lid of casserole dish for at least 20 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
If you like lots of tomatoes you could use two cans and layer them with the other ingredients too. I may try this next time. Serve with a green veggie (we did sweet peas) and a fresh apple cake :)
Matt gave his approval of the authenticity of my version of this dish. Glad to know I can make it like his mom did :)