Saturday, March 7, 2009

Stovetop macaroni and cheese (p. 325)

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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  2. I found this post because I googled JOC mac and cheese stovetop recipe - it's my favorite and I'm just craving some (but, alas, out of cheddar and the grocery stores here are closed for the night). I've made this a zillion times and it's by far my favorite way to eat it.

    It does take a while to shred the cheddar but I've never had to wait more than a minute or two for it to melt. I use my skillet for it actually - very wide base and just barely deep enough. I've sometimes melted the cheese before adding the noodles, which perhaps makes it faster, but I've also done it the *official* way too, no trouble. Perhaps my heat is higher? I also never add all of the ingredients at once - never prepared enough;-) And I always let it cool once the cheese has melted - just a tad - before adding the eggs. I suppose I could try tempering them too, to prevent them from hardening in the sauce. But then, perhaps it isn't necessary.

    Warming up leftovers is a cinch too. With a little extra milk (real, not condensed) in a little sauce pan over low-medium heat for a few minutes and a few jostles with a spoon; I savor every bite.

    SO tasty!!

  3. Like the previous poster, I found your site looking for this recipe.
    I think adding the pasta last is the way to go. Much more control, and the macaroni is less likely to get "banged up" during all that mixing.

    I usually don't use eggs in my version, but I think tempering is a good idea.

    Thank you for these recipes. This site is a real treasure.

  4. I've made this stovetop macaroni before and I had the same issue. It felt like I was stirring for an eternity before it all melted and actually resembled creamy macaroni and cheese. I think JOY was very off in how long they claim this recipe takes. Still yummy though! And I thought the dry mustard gave it a great bite!


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