Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Better than the Box: Real Mac and Cheese

I have always loved Kraft Mac and Cheese, the character shaped noodles are my favorite.
How can you diss Scooby Doo for lunch?

If you are an avid mac and cheese fan you know that you must have the perfect milk to butter to cheese ratio to make it absolutely perfect.

However, my mom decided that this weekend we should try something new. I was not happy- I live off my boxed mac and cheese.

As usual my mom finds some of her recipes from newspapers- so the Chicago Tribune had a recipe called "Mac 'n' cheese goes stove top: 20 minute stove top macaroni and cheese" that we just had to try.

And I'm very glad we did....
It was cheesy goodness- and dare I say....I like it better than the box!

There are two variations I cannot wait to try such as...
Southwester: add ground beef, salsa and chili powder- this must be a kicker
Fancy: Use Gruyere, Fontina and Mozzarella with a splash of white wine- sounds like girls night

I definitely will be making this when I get back to school. Sorry Scooby.

Mac 'n' Cheese

1 pound of pasta of your choice
2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of room-temp butter
1 1/2 cups milk- use whole or 2 percent
8-12 ounces of (Cheddar, Monterey jack, fontina, or a mix), grated ) I used 8 oz Medium Cheddar and 4 oz Monterey
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 pinch of paprika- go easy on this!
1 pinch of dry mustard- also less is better!

1. Heat a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the pasta. Stir the pasta. Cook until just tender, around 10 minutes. Drain

2. While boiling, mix flour and butter into a smooth paste in a little bowl. Heat the milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until just warm to the touch. (Watch this- don't let it scald/burn)

3. Measure out 1/2 cup of the milk; add to the flour paste. Wisk until smooth.
4. Put this mixture back into the saucepan and whisk gently until the mixture starts to simmer and the mixture thickens. It should coat the back of a spoon.

5. Stir in 2 cups of the cheese, a handful at a time. Stir in the Worcestershire, salt, pepper, paprika and mustard. Adjust seasonings. Stir in pasta. Taste; add more cheese as desired.

Variation Recipe:
Southwestern: Add 1 to 2 cups of cooked ground beef, 1 jar salsa and 1 tablespoon chili powder to the cheese sauce

Happy Spring Break!

Bon App├ętit,
Chef Maggie

1 comment:

  1. Nothing can beat homemade. This is the perfect family meal!