Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese - a Krafty Upgrade
I love macaroni - I've said before it's proof that God loves us. My children do too!
As long as it comes from the blue box.
I have a love-hate relationship with that stuff. I mean - it tastes good. Matter of fact, it tastes really, really good. It's fast - even my seven year old can make it. It keeps for years in the cupboard.
And therein lies the hate. I don't think most food is supposed to last for years. Or contain the words 'food product' on the ingredient list. There's something about reconstituting food when we're not hiking or on a space station that I have problems with. I don't absolutely forbid the stuff - I keep a couple boxes for emergencies. But...
I want my kids to eat real food. I make homemade everything as much as possible without going overboard or being crazy about it. I do have four kids and a real life. And I couldn't imagine that as easy as cheese sauce is (see Bechamel - Your Friend and Mine) that it would be that hard to duplicate the powdered stuff. I mean, two ingredients you're directed to add are milk and butter, and I know there's cheese in that powder somewhere.
I started with several different copycat recipes I found here and there, and gradually came up with one that even the six year old declared "perfect!". And that kid suspiciously looks for the box every time I say it's macaroni and cheese for dinner, because he only wants that kind.
It's not quite as fast as the packaged kind, but only takes a couple minutes more. And it's so close you can fool a kindergartner.
1 1 lb box elbow macaroni
8 ounces medium cheddar, grated
8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
2 Tbl ground mustard
1/2 stick of butter
salt and pepper to taste - note - if you're used to the box stuff, it might take a lot of salt to get close - start with a tsp and then taste as you season
1. Cook macaroni in salted water according to package directions. Drain well, and set aside.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining ingredients. Mix well, stirring until warm and cheese is mostly melted.
3. Add sauce to hot macaroni and stir well to combine, and until cheese is fully melted. All done!
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- The Thrillbilly Gourmet
Combining classic technique with everyday food for spectalar results.
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