Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese is the quintessential comfort food. Homemade baked macaroni & cheese was a staple in my house growing up, and is definitely a staple in my house for barbecues, parties or just dinner. I never had boxed mac n’ cheese (if you can call processed orange powder cheese) until I was in high school and was babysitting for a kid. I was expected to serve it for dinner. I’m a big believer in trying food before making kids eat it. Needless to say, I have had quite a few unpleasant experiences.
There are hundreds of ways to make macaroni & cheese by simply changing up the cheese, adding bacon or lobster or garlic; making a béchamel sauce and melting the cheese into that; topping it with breadcrumbs, etc. I have to say, mine is pretty simple. And based on how quickly it goes, it seems to be enjoyed by all.
1 box medium whole wheat shells (traditionally it’s made with elbow macaroni, but I tend towards these)
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (sharp, medium, 3 cheddar blends all work equally well. I prefer to use cheddar as it gives it a bite. I find that the mac n’ cheese blends that include swiss and american tend to be more mild)
1/2 stick butter
1 can evaporated milk (fat free works as well as regular)
1 cup milk
salt & pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cook pasta according to package directions to the minimum cook time. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven so you want it closer to underdone than overdone
3. Drain pasta and pour into casserole dish
4. Stir in butter until it melts
5. Add in 2 cups cheese and mix thoroughly
6. Add evaporated and regular milk and mix
7. Add salt & pepper to taste
8. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese on top
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
10. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving
The cheese should all be melted and there should be crispy pieces along the edge.