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I’ll never buy the “blue” mackiecheese box again!

August 8, 2011

The “blue” box of ‘mackiecheese” (mac-n-cheese for those uninitiated in Aiden-speak) is a pretty big staple in the American family diet. It’s quick and easy, doesn’t taste horrible, and makes little kids happy all the time. I know if I let him, my youngest would eat it every meal along with a cheesy taco (quesadilla with NOTHING else in it but cheese, thankyouverymuch), and grilled cheese. He’s a carb loader extraordinaire. We usually bought a creamy version for our weekly Taco-mac meal (I’d have to pull some aside for the young one so that it wasn’t all messed up by the taco meat), and that would be our Wednesday night meal before church activities. Quick, easy, cheap, filling and a long with a side salad, a meal I could sort of feel good about feeding the family.

But I’ve stopped doing it. Not only because of burn out, but because basing the whole meal on enriched white flour + fake cheese wasn’t really real food. So we switched to a baked macaroni and cheese that we really like, but it’s a little more expensive to make, had quite a bit of leftover, and required me turning on the oven, which I just do not do in the summer if I can possibly help it.

So last night, to celebrate Alton Brown‘s temporary return to Food Network, we tried his Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese. And I must say, I’m a convert. As Alton is my witness, I’ll never buy the blue box again!

STOVETOP MAC-N-CHEESE

by Alton Brown and Good Eats on Food Network

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 TB onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

Directions

  • In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

This really took no time, at all, to make. I did it while I was getting the rest of the meal ready (chicken sausages from Whole Foods and a salad). I added more evaporated milk than his recipe to make it thicker, and onion powder to kick up the taste a bit. I would’ve added more mustard at that point to help the color had I thought about it. And next time might sneak in just a small pouch of pureed pumpkin to up the color profile and add a teensy bit of nutrition to the whole thing.

But my biggest note is DEFINITELY don’t cook your noodles too long in the beginning, or with the additional cooking time, they’ll get mushy. We didn’t mind the mushy at all, but it’s one reason why there’s no picture to accompany this .. it just wasn’t pretty – but it sure did taste good!

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