Forget the boxes, the mixes, and don’t even think of waiting an hour for macaroni and cheese on a week night. I have the super-fast solution for homemade macaroni and cheese, and it is SO good.
I have something of an addiction to macaroni and cheese. When I was a child I ate mac & cheese from the blue box at least once a week. My mom just did not always feel up to making homemade side dishes every night, and I never complained! When I got older I discovered a whole world of macaroni and cheese that did not involve powdered cheese and I have tried more than I care to tell you about.
The recipe I am about to share with you makes the creamiest macaroni and cheese I have ever made, and it is nearly as fast as making the stuff in the box. I make this at the holidays now because it is more popular than the baked one I used to make. In fact, my brother (who is himself something of a macaroni and cheese aficionado) told me that going forward this was the ONLY recipe I should use. High praise indeed.
One thing I feel I must add is that you really should grate your cheese fresh. Cheeses that come ready-grated have anti-caking agents in them which change the way they melt. They also change the overall texture of the cheese sauce. Of course, if it makes your life easier you can use the ready-grated stuff but the sauce may not be as creamy.
Also, if you are watching your figure, as so many of us are, you can use reduced-fat cheese (this you must grate yourself, reduced-fat ready-grated cheese will not work). You can also use 2% evaporated milk. The results are just as creamy, just as delicious, but far kinder to your thighs.
- 8 ounces macaroni, or any smallish tube shaped pasta
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 6 ounces (about ⅔ cup) evaporated milk
- 6 ounces (about 1 cup) freshly grated cheddar cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper
- Hot sauce, to taste
- Salt and pepper
- Cook 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.
- In a small bowl combine the egg, milk, and spices. Whisk until thoroughly combined then pour over the pasta. Stir until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 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.