Horn & Hardart's Macaroni and Cheese

Horn & Hardart was a Philadelphia 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 Horn & Hardart Automat in New York—on Third Ave. and 42nd St.—closed in the 1990s and is now a GAP.

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
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash white pepper
1/2 pound small elbow macaroni, cooked until barely done

Directions:

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

Servings: Serves two or three

—From the book Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food

Classic New York Egg Cream

Ingredients:

U-bet chocolate syrup
Whole milk
Seltzer water

Directions:

Take a tall, chilled, straight-sided 8-ounce glass and add one inch of U-bet chocolate syrup (www.foxs-syrups.com). Add one inch whole milk. Tilt the glass and spray seltzer (from a pressurized cylinder only) off a spoon and into the glass to make a frothy chocolate head. Stir.

Servings: Serves one

—From H. Fox & Co.

Serendipity Frozen Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

6 half-ounce pieces of your favorite chocolates
2 teaspoons store-bought hot chocolate mix
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups ice
Whipped cream
Chocolate shavings

Directions:

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place it in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Add the hot chocolate mix and sugar. Stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and slowly add ½ cup of milk until smooth. Cool to room temperature. In a blender, place the remaining cup of milk, the room-temperature chocolate mixture and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and the consistency of a frozen daiquiri. Pour into a giant goblet and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Servings: Serves one

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