So I love Mac and Cheese. We tend to do Kraft Blue box variety a lot and then add things to it like mustard and hot sauce; sour cream, tomatoes, and green peppers; tuna; and a variety of other things that suit our fancy at the time.
I decided that Mac and Cheese and Ham sounded good today, but want to try making it homemade again. This is usually unsuccessful for me because I can never make a smooth cheese sauce. So I did what I always do when I want a new recipe. I went and search AllRecipes.com.
I found a recipe called Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound elbow, shell or other bite-size shaped pasta
- 2 (12 fluid ounce) cans evaporated milk
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in large soup kettle. Add salt and pasta. Using package directions as a guide, cook until al dente. Drain. To prevent sticking, drain and immediately pour onto a large lipped baking sheet and let cool while preparing sauce. Meanwhile, microwave the milk and chicken broth in a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup or bowl until hot and steamy (not boiling). Melt butter in the empty pasta pot; whisk in flour, then hot milk mixture. Continue to whisk until thick and bubbly, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in mustard, Parmesan and pepper. Turn off heat, stir in cheddar until melted. Add drained pasta (and optional flavoring ingredients, see notes) to sauce, and stir until everything is well combined over low heat. Stir to heat through, and thin with a little water if the sauce is too thick. Serve hot.
I boiled the pasta in one pot while cooking the sauce in another, saw no reason to not do it this way. When both were done I drained the pasta and stired it together with the sauce. There is a bit too much sauce for pasta, but it is very good.
My homemade Mac and Cheese is usually grainy. I read in the comments on AllRecipes for this recipe that one way to get rid of that graininess is to use part cheddar and part something else like jack. Someone else mentioned using peper jack for part or theirs. I thought this sounded pretty good. I went to the store intending to buy 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar and an 8 oz block of cheddar jack to shred. Instead I found a shedded cheese blend that was mild cheddar, monteray jack, and jalapeno peppers. So I used it. This gave the sauce a nice smooth texture and a little kick.