I LOVE Mac & Cheese. From age 3-10 I’m pretty sure it was the only thing I ate. Drove my babysitter crazy. And even as a self-proclaimed foodie at age 23, I’m not ashamed to say that I still dine from the blue box. I have grown up to the “Three Cheese” and “Thick and Creamy” varieties, but I do still eat pasta with powdered cheese from a box. And as much as I love it, I do acknowledge that homemade mac & cheese is far superior. I love making a big pan of the homemade stuff, but I always tend to have too much leftover, and the start to finish process is pretty lengthy for a weeknight dinner. A few weeks ago I started exploring blogs and recipe sites to get an idea of a good method of stovetop mac & cheese that would produce the homemade flavor on the boxed dinner schedule. I decided on this recipe from evilshenanigans that is adapted from Cooks Illustrated. I used extra sharp cheddar and liked the result, but next time I’m definitely going to use a combo of cheeses.
Stove-top Mac & Cheese Serves 4-6 adapted from Cooks Illustrated
8oz macaroni, or any smallish tube shaped pasta
1 tablespoon butter
6 oz evaporated milk
6 oz freshly grated cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red peppers
Salt and pepper
Boil the pasta according to package directions, but reduce the cooking time by one minute. Drain and pour back into the cooking pot.
Over medium-low heat, add the butter and stir until melted.
Mix the egg, milk, and spices and pour over the pasta. Stir until it begins to thicken, about three to five minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat then add the cheese in four installments, making sure the first is melted completely before adding the next.