Monday, January 21, 2008

A Must For Every Dinner Table

I made Mac n' Cheese tonight.  From Scratch.  And it was actually good.

I have always been intimidated by making this dish from scratch.  I don't know why.  It's relatively simple.  My mom made it all the time when we were growing up.  I think part of the reason is that my husband is not a "casserole man" at all.  In addition to that, he doesn't care too much for pastas of any kind.  (What is wrong with this man!?)  Seeing as Mac n' Cheese falls into both of those categories and because it intimidates me, I have avoided making it in the past.

A couple months ago I was watching Good Eats, which by the way is just darn Good TV, if you ask me.  I have learned more from Alton Brown about cooking and food and all that jazz than I could use in a lifetime.   Anyway, so I was watching an episode about cheese.  (How can you go wrong there?)  He made this stove top version of mac n' cheese that looked simple, quick, and didn't involve an oven (which everyone knows will take away the wicked label of "casserole").  I promptly forgot about it, but for some reason tonight I thought of it.  So I decided that I was going to try this recipe and see what all the hoopla was about mac n' cheese from scratch.  

Well, let me just tell you.  You. Have. To. Make. This. Right. NOW!  It was that good.  My casserole/pasta hating husband loved it.  And when I say he loved it I mean he LOVED it.  He had two huge servings all the while gushing over it (as much as a ScottBall can ever gush).  As I was cleaning up dinner he even commented again about how good it was.  So this was a huge wild card winner!  (Kinda like the Giants, huh?)  

So here's the recipe.

1/2 pound elbow macaroni

4 tablespoons butter

2 eggs

6 ounces evaporated milk

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Fresh black pepper

3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

Go forth and make Mac n' Cheese from scratch.  It will be so worth your time and energy.  Just be sure to serve it and eat it immediately.  It's the best when it's super creamy.  As it sits the sharp cheddar cheese hardens just a bit.  

In the future the only change that I would make would be to use regular cheddar cheese rather than the sharp.  Don't get me wrong I love sharp cheddar.  It's actually the only type of cheddar that I buy, but for this recipe it seems a tad too strong.  I'm also going to play around with different cheese combos.  You know, throw a little monterrey jack and maybe a little havarti to shake things up a bit.  

Whatever cheese you use, just make sure that you make this. Right. Now.  It really is that good and that easy!  I promise.  

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