I searched through TJOC for a quick recipe that I had all the ingredients for and stumbled upon Stovetop macaroni and cheese (p. 325). I had previously made baked macaroni and cheese and it was good, so I was optimistic about the recipe. The first step was easy--boil two cups of elbow macaroni in salted water, drain, and add a half cup of butter. Elbow macaroni always reminds me of preschool craft projects rather than dinner, but I suppose it's appropriate for mac and cheese (a dish I think is one of the most truly American meal--what do you think?).
I readied my ingredients ( my mise en place, if you will)--evaporated milk, cheddar cheese, beaten eggs, dry mustard dissolved in hot water, salt, and ground red pepper. Since they are all added at once, I really recommend getting everything prepped ahead of time--shredding all that cheese takes a surprisingly long time.
All of those ingredients are mixed into the pasta and it's cooked until the sauce is smooth. This took forever--I was afraid the cheese was never going to melt. A finer shred of cheese would probably be helpful because it would melt a lot faster.
After stirring for what seemed like hours, the cheese melted.
It was good! Easy (not quite as easy as Kraft but without the creepy fluroscent orange color) and with a sharp, authenic sharp cheddar tang. Creamy! I would definately make it again although I would probably test out other cheese combinations.
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