Proper macaroni and cheese is baked. Proper macaroni and cheese is made with the same mixture of cheeses every time. Proper macaroni and cheese does not exist in my household.
We love cheese. At the end of every two weeks or so, I find that it’s time to use up our blocks of cheese, else they will end up in the garbage (no! no! no!). There’s almost always a melt-y cheese like cheddar or Gruyere or goat and a salty cheese like feta or parmesan. Occasionally there’s also the sharp flavor of a stilton, gorgonzola or blue cheese… or Trader Joe’s Truffle Cheese which is both sharp and melt-y!
Mac and cheese is also a great opportunity to get extra servings of vegetables in. Peas, broccoli and cauliflower all work great as add-ins!
The following recipe works for my family for two reasons. First, no baking is required; because I rarely have that extra 20-30-40 minutes to bake. Second, it uses up all of those leftover little bits of cheese hanging around in our deli drawer, making each mac and cheese experience slightly different.
Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese
2 TBSP butter
1/4 Cup all purpose flour (you can substitute with 2 TBSP of corn starch to make a gluten free roux)
2 1/2 Cups Whole Milk (can substitute with skim or 2%)
2 cups of shredded cheeses (at least one that melts well)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 box of any pasta cooked and drained*
1. In a heavy bottom pot on medium heat: melt 2 TBSP butter.
2. Add 1/4 cup AP flour.
3. Whisk until combined into chunks.
4. Add 1 cup of milk, while continuously stirring to combine.
5. When it turns into a thick paste add remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk
6. Continue whisking until milk is warmed through and all of the roux (butter and flour) are smooth and combined. No chunks!
7. Turn heat down to low.
8. Add shredded cheeses. You can use chunks of cheese, but the shredded just incorporates faster. Continue stirring until all cheese is melted.
9. Remove from heat.
10. Add Kosher salt and pepper to taste.
11. Add cooked pasta to the pot. Stir to coat each piece with sauce.
*Depending on how “creamy” you like your mac & cheese, this is enough sauce for anywhere from 1/2 box of cooked pasta (super cheesy) to a full box of cooked pasta (just enough to cover the pasta).
Eat, Drink and Be Yummy!