Friday, February 4, 2011

The Macaroni and Cheese I Never Thought I'd Have

Ok, I may be having a small love-affair with Mel's Kitchen Cafe. This dish was so perfect, I can't even begin to describe it. Homemade mac and cheese struggles, in my opinion. I do have a couple of recipes that I really like, they're complex to make and taste yummy, but they're not that oozy, goozy goodness kind of mac 'n' cheese that I get a hankering for. They're more like a casserole. Oh, I realize you can achieve that oozy goozy flavor if you are willing to throw in a bunch of processed foods, but I'm not. So, I just figured my days of creamy mac 'n' cheese goodness had come to an end.

I was wrong.
Very, very wrong.
Mel's Kitchen Cafe introduced me to this:
It's easy.
Really easy.
Really creamy.
It doesn't call for creepy things like Velveeta.
Although it did call for evaporated milk, but I'm ok with that every now and again.

It. Was. Unbelievable. And we will be eating it again and again and again in this house. Please, try it next time you have a craving for the best Macaroni and Cheese you've ever had. Without the use of hyper-processed foods.

Oh, and I skipped the hot sauce because I didn't have any, but I bet it would be tasty. I also used various cheeses I had on hand, and increased the sauce just a little, because I love me some creammmy mac 'n' cheese!

5 stars.

Recipe here or below:

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese

from My Kitchen Cafe (

3 1/2 cups water, plus extra if needed

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

12 ounces (about 3 cups) elbow macaroni

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)

6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)

2 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks

Ground black pepper to taste

Bring 3 1/2 cups water, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, the macaroni, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the macaroni is tender and the liquid has thickened, 9 to 12 minutes.

Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk, the cornstarch, mustard and hot sauce together in a small bowl, then stir into the skillet. Continue to simmer slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Off the heat, stir in the cheddar and Monterey Jack, one handful at a time, adding water as needed to adjust the consistency of the sauce (I didn’t need any additional water when I made it). Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.