So a few months ago, I saw a post claiming to be a macaroni and cheese revolution on Pinterest. Yes, I know that app/site is an evil addiction and will eventually swallow my soul and turn me to the dark side of pinning photos of cute knitwear and dream houses. At that point, you may all revoke my access to the internet and I will be justly chastised. Until then, it brings me recipes like this, which IS a macaroni and cheese revolution. The greatest thing about it is that it’s actually reasonably healthy, though it involves a lot of cheese. You can definitely use whole wheat pasta, it already uses skim milk, and you COULD cut down on the cheese, or use low fat, though I claim no responsibility for whatever may occur if you go THAT far.
So, you start by washing your macaroni and draining it in a colander, then put it in a saucepan along with a little butter, some lowfat milk, nutmeg, mustard powder, and salt.
Turn on the heat to medium, and stir frequently while it comes to a simmer. Once to a simmer, reduce heat to low and stir often (as the recipe says, don’t leave the stove, frequent stirring is essential), until the macaroni has absorbed most of the liquid, about 15 minutes.
Add a bunch of grated cheese (and really, if you end up with a cup and a half of grated cheese, can you REALLY ever have too much cheese?), preferably a mix of soft and hard cheeses. I prefer about 2 parts smoked cheddar to one part parmesean, but that’s just me. You can do any mix you like. Stir around to distribute evenly, cover pot, and let sit for five minutes. Then add salt to taste, stir one final time, and enjoy. And enjoy you will. This is just a rich, cheesy delight.
Creamiest Mac and Cheese ever
- 2 cups large elbow Macaroni about 1/2 lb, uncooked
- 2 cups low fat Milk about 16 oz, or more if needed
- **if more milk is needed additional 1/4 cup milk at a time for final cooking. **Macaroni pasta varies so much! have additional milk on hand, or be ready to increase the heat if your macaroni doesn't absorb fast enough.
- 1 tablespoon Butter I tried this recipe once without the butter and I didn't notice any difference with the recipe. More heart healthy!, for flavor
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt plus additional for final season later
- generous dash of Nutmeg
- 1 cup Grated Cheese jack, cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, gouda, parmesan*, asiago*, pecorino*, any one or combination of *Hard cheeses are best combined with a secondary, softer, better melting cheese. Cheese varies in flavor and salt level too!
- additional toppings: bacon bits optional, bread crumbs, chopped parsley, diced tomatoes
- black pepper to taste optional
Place raw elbow macaroni in colander and quickly rinse under water. Let drain.2. In medium sauce pan (about 3.5 qt), add milk, raw elbow macaroni, salt, butter, mustard powder and nutmeg.3. On medium heat, slowly bring milk/macaroni mixture to a simmer, stirring the macaroni frequently as it comes up to a simmer. This will separate macaroni and keep them from sticking together. DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE! The milk mixture will come to a boil very quickly and leaving it unattended will leave a big mess on your stove stop.
Once mixture comes to a simmer, immediately turn down heat to LOW. Macaroni will slowly cook in the milk. Having your heat too high will evaporate the milk too quickly!
Continue to stir the mixture frequently so that macaroni will cook evenly and absorb milk evenly. If you don't stir your mixture frequently, you will get a big clump of macaroni in the end! Stir, stir stir!
Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until milk has been fully absorbed.
**If macaroni is not cooked fully, add a little more milk or water to mixture ( in small amounts) until macaroni is fully cooked. This will take about another 5 minutes.
When milk has evaporated, stir in grated cheese of your choice. Stir the cheese evenly into the macaroni.
Turn off heat. Place lid on top of pan and cover for about 5 minutes. This rest period will allow macaroni to plump up and absorb any excess milk.
Take a final taste and add additional salt to taste. Before serving, stir one final time to mix everything together.