Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quick and Easy Macaroni and Cheese

Forget the stuff from the box, here is a method takes just as a much time, and the results are way better. I first discovered this method from The College Cookbook, back when I was well, in college. And I haven’t gone back to using the stuff from the blue box since. I’ve tweaked it over the years, for a more “grown-up” taste, adding a handful of cheddar cheese and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a hint of spice. But the American cheese is still a key ingredient to get the creaminess that coats the macaroni. Using cheddar alone, I found makes it stringy and grainy.

Another advantage of this method is you can make as little or as much as you want. I found that using the box you confined to the 4-6 servings, and since I usually was cooking it for myself, I would be eating mac and cheese for several meals.

So try this method, using real cheese, and butter, and you may never go back to using the stuff from the blue box.

Quick and Easy Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from The College Cookbook

1 cup (a handful) of macaroni (I used “Celentani” here because it’s a fun spiral shape, but any tubular pasta will do)
1-2 slices American cheese
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
A pat of butter
A few tablespoons of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of cayenne pepper

Boil the pasta according to the directions. Drain the pasta and return to the pot and turn the heat to the lowest setting possible on your stove. Melt butter into the pasta and stir it so it is evenly distributed. Add cheese and milk and stir until it becomes desired consistency. (I add about a tablespoon of milk at a time and stir until it becomes nice and creamy). Season with salt and pepper and dust with a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper. Serves one person as a meal, or 3 as a side dish.

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