It's no secret how much I love the good ole' blue box mac and cheese, but when I saw this recipe of Rachel's the other day, I just had to try it.
Rachel runs her own recipe blog called Homemade Today based on her belief that all food tastes better when you make it from scratch yourself. But what I love best about Rachel's blog is how easy some of these homemade recipes can really be- especially if you pay attention to her tips on speed and preparation! Her stove-top mac and cheese is an excellent place to start.
[Prep: 10min / Cook: 20min]
- 1/4 pound short pasta (elbow macaroni, shells, spirals or bow-tie)
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1 egg
- 3 oz evaporated milk
- 1/4 tsp hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground/dry mustard
- 5oz (140 grams) shredded cheddar cheese
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
- Remove from heat, drain the pasta and return to the pot. Throw in the butter and toss until butter is melted and coats the pasta.
- Whisk together the egg, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper and mustard. Stir into the pasta.
- Add the cheese and turn the heat back on. Stir over low heat for a couple minutes until cheese is melted and creamy.
- Ready to eat!
- The egg is pretty crucial to the flavor of the sauce, but sometimes (especially after it has set for awhile) it can make the texture a little lumpy. Maybe Rachel can shed some light on how best to avoid this, but if you really don't like the egg texture, I have made many decent cheese sauces in the past without the egg.
- Rachel advises that a lot of pre-shredded cheeses have preservatives that hinder the melting process. I don't have pre-shredded cheddar here, nor do I have a cheese grater anymore, so I had to buy a block and cut it into slices. Don't be worried if you have to do this too. Cheddar melts very well, even in big slices.
- Unfortunately, I didn't have all of the ingredients available here in Holland, so I had to skip the ground mustard entirely and make my own evaporated milk (Rach'd be so proud!). Ground mustard is one of those odd ingredients that you may not keep stocked, and although it's not the end of the world if you don't get it, I did notice a little lack of 'kick' in my mac and cheese. Also, evaporated milk comes out a bit creamier than regular milk, so it is also worth picking up, but using regular milk will still give you a decent cheese sauce. If you're crazy enough to try to make your own, you can find instructions here.