Kraft Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me

May 29, 2011 at 8:29 AM (Recipe) (, , )

I was in high school before I ever tried Macaroni and Cheese (blue box, of course). My parents avoided buying that kind of food most of the time, so we just never had it in the house, and I didn’t care because I’ve never been a big cheese eater anyway. Even when I did start eating it more often (which was still not very often) I didn’t enjoy it. I just thought mac and cheese was doomed to be gross no matter what. I mean can you really love eating something that you know is made with radioactive orange cheese powder?

There’s also baked macaroni and cheese, but the bread crumb topping I find pretty unappealing and a dish like that wasn’t in my mom’s family cooking oeuvre. I’ve considered making it now that I’m older but I’m not the only one that dislikes crunchy toppings on foods like that so I haven’t bothered.

Saturday afternoon though we needed to make a meal for the kids and a side for the adults (burgers for entrees, which is another story involving a disposable grill…those things cost $3 for a reason), and the rest of the party decided on mac and cheese. I think the idea was to cook macaroni and dump cheese in it? Yeah, I don’t know, but I couldn’t let that happen so I took over. Thanks to Google and WiFi, I found this recipe and adapted it for our needs.

Incidentally, the recipe search was somewhat limited since we had already gone to the store, but we had bought cheese and cream and everything else was in the house. That meant this recipe was not only delicious but wonderfully cheap for pretty luxurious results.

Ingredients:

  • about 1/2 lb. pasta–use elbow macaroni if you’re really going for that Kraft feel, but we used fusilli which is one of my favorite pasta shapes and happened to be what we had on hand.
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP flour (all-purpose should be fine, we ended up using bread because that’s what we had and it still worked)
  • 2 C heavy cream, slightly warmed* (use half-and-half if you’re fat conscious or whatever)
  • 1 8 oz. bag shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 2 C)
  • salt

Directions:

  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until “al dente” (or until it feels like it’s cooked to your preference, I’m sure the recipe would still work with less firm pasta). Drain in a colander and set aside.
  • In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk/stir in the flour and cook for a minute or so, making sure to stir so it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pot.
  • Gradually whisk in the warmed cream, stirring continuously, until the mixture is steaming hot and thick. Apparently this is supposed to take 4 minutes but I didn’t have a clock so I just stirred until it looked thick enough. It’ll still be fairly liquid-y but remember that you’re adding cheese and pasta to this, so you don’t want to over-reduce. Excessive use of made-up words for professionals only.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar until melted. This step will turn the sauce a delightful shade of orange that still looks natural, but it’s also a nice way to tell when the cheese is mixed in all the way–there won’t be any more cream-colored streaks.
  • Stir in the macaroni, season with salt to taste, and enjoy tons of compliments when you feed people that are used to the blue box stuff.

As another testament to the success of this recipe: a hugely picky 7 year old that claims to not like cheese and dines almost exclusively on rice thought the mac and cheese smelled so good that he actually wanted to taste it, and after trying one noodle decided to have that for lunch, his rice quickly forgotten.

*You can warm the cream in the microwave easily, but I heated mine over medium-low heat in a small saucepan while my pasta was cooking so I knew I’d have it ready exactly when I needed it.

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. brakefluid said,

    А если к этому добавить курицу(порезаную), зеленый лук, вывалить все в глубокий протвинь, посыпать сверху остатками сыра и запечьв духовке то и ресторанный чикен альфредо тоже может отдыхать…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: