I’m having a bad run of luck with trying new recipes. All flops recently. I can honestly say I’ve never made a bad mac and cheese. Until tonight. Which is completely sad because I am a sucker for mac and cheese so I’m always looking to try new recipes.
This recipe is best when eaten straight from the stove top. I would call it a decent stove top recipe. You can bake afterward, which I did. But that’s where I went wrong. The sauce to noodle ratio is way too low. The sauce completely soaked into the noodles and the dish turned out a bit dry (and in need of salt, if I do say so myself). I had to add milk to the portion that I scooped into my bowl to make it palatable. If you dare try this recipe (and I wouldn’t recommend anyone do so), I would increase the sauce by one-half recipe.
- 1 lb pasta, any shape
- 2 c. whole or 2% milk
- 3 T. all-purpose flour
- 3 to 4 c. thinly shredded cheese, like cheddar, Monterrey jack, or Colby
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. powdered mustard
- Optional extras (cook before adding): Ham, bacon, onions, peas, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower
- additional cheese, bread crumbs and butter for garnish (if baking)
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and a tablespoon of salt. Cook until past is al dente if serving right from the stove top, 1 to 2 minutes less if baking. Drain and set aside.
- While the noodles are boiling prepare the cheese sauce. Warm 1 cup of milk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together the remaining cup of milk and flour until there are no lumps. When you see steam rising from the milk on the stove top, whisk in the milk and flour mixture. Continue whisking gently until the milk thickens slightly to the consistency of heavy cream. Turn the heat to low and add the cheese slowly. Stir in salt, pepper and mustard. Stir until all the cheese has melted. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Add the noodles to the pot of sauce. Stir to coat evenly. Add any additions (meats or veggies). Serve immediately while still warm.
- If baking, pour the mac and cheese into a casserole dish (I used an 8×8-inch glass dish). Cover with additional shredded cheese, bread crumbs and few pats of butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the dish is bubbling and the top is golden.