I’ve been racking my brain trying to recall if I’ve ever eaten any homemade mac ‘n cheese, but all I’ve come up with is a big fat goose egg. Any time this comfort food appeared on our kitchen table, there was an accompanying blue box in the trashcan under the sink. Even though Kraft sells an amusing array of pasta shapes like Scooby Doo and Spongebob, I knew homemade just had to be more satisfying.
With all of the Christmas shopping and wrapping to do, I didn’t find my way into the kitchen to make “M” until Christmas Eve. My family dressed up in beautiful dresses and crisp slacks to go to the traditional church service, which finally ended just before dinnertime. We raced home, but since people complained about being hungry even as we drove back, I unlocked the door, threw aside my keys, and immediately began pulling out ingredients without changing out of my Sunday (err, Friday night) best. I click-clacked around the kitchen in tall silver heels, trying to avoid both spilling cheesy sauce on my nice dress and tripping over our dog, who parked himself in the middle of the kitchen floor. After lots of stirring, grating, and stirring some more, I had a pot full of comforting, cheddary mac and a very unorthodox Christmas Eve dinner.
Macaroni & Cheese
taken from The Best Light Recipe
The authors say not to use pre-shredded cheese because it has lost some of its moisture, and I definitely agree. It’s worth grating your own for this delicious dish, and the best part is that you can’t even tell that it’s “light”!
2 c. dry elbow macaroni
¾ c. 2% milk, divided
1 (12 oz) can reduced-fat evaporated milk
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp dry mustard
2 tsp cornstarch
8 oz reduced-fat cheddar cheese, grated
- Fill a large pot half full with water and bring to a boil. Add 1-2 tsp salt (opt.) and pasta, and cook according to package directions, until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Return the large pot to the stove. Pour in the evaporated milk, ½ c. of the 2% milk, salt, and mustard. Heat it to boiling, stirring frequently. Let boil for 1 minute.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the remaining ¼ c. of 2% milk and add to the hot milk mixture. Reduce to a simmer, still stirring, and let simmer for about 2 minutes or until it begins to thicken.
- Remove pot from heat and whisk in cheddar, about ¼ c. at a time. Once cheese sauce is smooth, pour in macaroni pasta and stir until it’s all coated. Let sit for 2-5 minutes while the sauce thickens, then serve immediately.