Since I started cooking for my husband, he has had a die-hard, from-the-box insistence when it comes to mac'n'cheese. I have tried all sorts of recipes and none of them seemed to be right. It has been years since I have tried a new recipe; and then I came across Mel's Kitchen Cafe and her fantastic mac'n'cheese recipe. I thought it was great, and the kids agreed. My husband was a tougher sell, though, and I made some very small changes to the recipe to get him on board.
This recipe is actually very similar to the one from America's Test Kitchen as well, but even easier. The leftovers re-heat pretty well, too. My kids are happy to eat them. Easy, quick, one pot, what could be better. Thanks, Mel!
Easy Stove Top Mac 'n' Cheese
3 1/2 cups water
1 can evaporated milk
3 cups pasta (my son prefers shells, but you could use elbow or mini penne, etc)
1 tsp salt (less if preferred)
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp hot sauce
6 oz (1 1/2 c) Monteray Jack Cheese, shredded
6oz (1 1/2 c) Cheddar Cheese, shredded
4 Tbs butter, cut up
Ground black pepper to taste
In a large pot on the stove top, bring water, 1 cup of evaporated milk, and salt to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 11-13 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the cheese, and mix 1/2 cup of evaporated milk with the cornstarch, dry mustard, and hot sauce.
When the noodles are ready, add the milk mix and stir for about 1 minute to allow it to thicken a bit. Take the pasta off the heat and add the cheese, one handful at a time. Allow the cheese to melt completely and add the butter chunks. Add salt and pepper to taste and it's ready to serve.
I like to serve this dish with broccoli and sometimes with skillet chicken. I am also curious to try mixing some vegetables into it, like cooked squash. I think that will be my next venture with this recipe.