← Back to Search Results baking American

Photo by:
Comments: 1


The Automat’s macaroni and cheese was at one time the whole city’s soul food, a comfort to us all. This recipe comes from the files of the New York Daily News where I was the food editor. It was one of several Automat recipes published in a pamphlet by the News sometime in the 1950s. There are several other versions, but this fits my taste memory, too. The last Automat was only feet away from the landmark News Building where I worked, and, in emotionally weak moments, I would run downstairs for a plate of the fortifying mac and cheese.

Yield : Serves 2 or 3


  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons light cream (see Note)
  • 1 packed cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Dash of ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • Dash of ground white pepper, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ½ pound small elbow macaroni, cooked until barely done


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a shallow baking dish.

In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter, then blend in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes.

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 the heat.

Stir in the cheese and cook until melted, then add the tomatoes, sugar, cayenne, and white pepper. Taste for salt, and add to taste, starting with about ½ teaspoon.

Stir in the macaroni.

Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake until the surface browns, 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve hot.


This recipe must have been broken down from one that made an enormous quantity, which explains the small amount of light cream. If you don’t want to purchase a half-pint container of light cream just for 2 tablespoons, simply add 2 tablespoons more milk. You’ll never know the difference.

© 2004 Arthur Schwartz

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

This recipe serves 3.

616kcal (31%)
442mg (44%)
2mg (3%)
239mcg RAE (8%)
78mg (26%)
709mg (30%)
16g (80%)
27g (41%)
3mg (18%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
  • lindaem

    03.13.12 Flag comment

    I was so happy to see this recipe. I was talking to my sister back East and said Horn and Hardart had the best macaroni and cheese in the world and I wish someone had the receipe. Looked it up and there it was. My nearest was I believe the same one you refer to: 42nd and Third Avenue. I went to Central Commercial High School and when I could afford a quarter, this was my treat!!!

    Thanks for publishing it. I'll make it this coming weekend.



Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

spice Spice
by Ana Sortun
jacques-torres-a-year-in-chocolate-80-recipes-for-holidays-and-special-occasions Jacques Torres' A Year in C...
by Judith Choate, Jacques Torres
hot-sour-salty-sweet Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
the-vegetable-dishes-i-cant-live-without The Vegetable Dishes I Can'...
by Mollie Katzen, Greg Atkinson
unforgettable-desserts Unforgettable Desserts
by Dede Wilson
rosas-new-mexican-table-friendly-recipes-for-festive-meals Rosa's New Mexican Table: F...
by Roberto Santibanez
bistro-cooking-at-home-more-than-150-classic-and-contemporary-dishes Bistro Cooking at Home: Mor...
by Gordon Hamersley
new-american-table New American Table
by Marcus Samuelsson
nancy-silvertons-sandwich-book Nancy Silverton's Sandwich ...
by Nancy Silverton
amor-y-tacos Amor Y Tacos
by Deborah Schneider
fresh-from-the-market Fresh from the Market
by Laurent Tourondel
american-vegan-kitchen American Vegan Kitchen
by Tamasin Noyes
the-south-american-table-the-flavor-and-soul-of-authentic-home-cooking-from-patagonia-to-rio-de-janeiro-with-450-recipes The South American Table: T...
by Maria Baez Kijac
david-burkes-new-american-classics David Burke's New American ...
by David Burke, Judith Choate
cook-with-jamie Cook with Jamie
by Jamie Oliver
down-home-with-the-neelys-a-southern-family-cookbook Down Home with the Neelys: ...
by Gina Neely, Pat Neely
american-masala American Masala
by Suvir Saran
Already a member? Click here to Log In

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new Cookstr features and tools

By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Click here to Sign Up

Forgot your password? Click here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?