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2023-08-31 10:15:07

Simple Mac & Cheese

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For years .

I tried to top the mac and cheese that my dad makes .

I tried making the traditional mona sauce with a butter and flour rou mixed with milk and then grier and all kinds of fancy cheese .

But it never came out as good as dad's , which uses no room at all and is instead built upon processed American cheese .

Start by putting enough water on the boil for a pound of pasta and then put another big pan on medium heat .

That's one quart of whole milk .

Then comes the cheese , a whole 16 ounce package of craft deli deluxe American cheese .

This is different from craft singles .

It contains enough real cheddar or Colby cheese for the US government to consider it cheese .

Other types have to be labeled as cheese product .

You start tearing it into pieces so that it melts relatively quickly and evenly .

I think it's probably the emulsifiers in this processed cheese that make the recipe work without the use of roux as a thickener or binder .

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And the whole thing comes out much smoother as a result , we take a little black pepper and no salt .

There's plenty of salt in that cheese .

But you could totally add some more herbs and spices at this stage if you want and it will slowly melt over a period of about 5 to 10 minutes .

Oh , and we forgot the butter anywhere between a half and a whole stick of butter goes in and just melts with the cheese .

Keep stirring it .

Meanwhile , get yourself a pound of large pasta shells or honestly , whatever shake you want , salt your boiling water and dump in the pasta .

Par boil it for five minutes no more or they'll be mushy after they bake .

You can see that sauce is nice and smooth .

Now , get yourself a baking dish that's at least 2.5 quarts and lobe it up , drain your pasta .

Then it's time to assemble pasta goes into the dish , pour in the sauce , stir around a little bit .

It should look too soupy at this stage .

If it doesn't , it's gonna be dry and gloppy after it bakes , covering it up for the first part of baking will help the whole thing .

Cook a little bit more evenly .

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If you're into that , I actually don't cover it because I like the top super dry and crispy .

But you do .

You in the oven , it goes at 3 50 °F for 45 minutes covered .

Now , if you're thinking this is a recipe an eight year old could do .

You're right .

Grandma Ragusa started my dad making this by himself when he was eight while everybody was at work on Fridays because like all good cat licks , they wouldn't eat meat that night .

After 45 minutes , pull it out and take the cover off , then give it another half hour or so until the top layer of cheese is brown .

If it's not browning enough to your liking , you could always flip on the broiler at the very end and you could eat some brown bits off the top like a dirty thief right now .

But you got to let the whole thing rest for like half an hour before you spoon it out .

Otherwise the sauce will just run out all over the plate .

I like to eat it with some salad often on the same forkful , acidic crunch is a great contrast with soft richness .

It might not look fancy , but for an unbiased opinion on the taste , here's Lauren .

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I love macaroni and cheese and I've always tried to make macaroni and cheese at home and it's always been trash and it's delicious .

Yep .

The flavor is stronger and the texture far smoother than mac and cheese made with quote unquote real cheese .

Give it a chance .

This may be that childhood food memory you've been chasing and never been able to get back .


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