The only homemade mac & cheese I liked as a kid was the stuff my mom made with Velveeta. It was just butter, milk, and Velveeta microwaved until melted and poured over noodles. Basic, delicious, salty (as everything with Velveeta is).
This is a little bit of an upgrade from those days- mainly because the cheese I used was some 4 year aged white cheddar from a local cheese company. I mean, can you do any wrong with 4 year aged cheddar? No, no you can't.
Now before you hightail out of here thinking this is going to be an pretentious post that includes talking about eating this dish with a nice pinot in a room full of aged mahogany- I promise it's not. This recipe is crazy easy, but saying "aged white cheddar" just makes you sound hella fancy.
Here it is, team:
What you'll need to make it happen:
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp Flour
3 cups milk (I use skim)
2 cups Aged White Cheddar Cheese- shredded
1/2 box elbow mac noodles (you can use more if you don't want the noodles as coated)
Salt, Pepper, Paprika to taste
How to make it happen:
Step 1: Cook your pasta about 1-2 minutes less than you usually would, drain, and set aside.
Step 2: Melt your butter on medium-low in a large sauce pan, stirring as it melts.
Step 3: Add in your flour, and whisk until well incorporated. Continue to stir for another 3 minutes, and if your burners run hot- lower to low heat. If your burners are too hot you WILL burn your mixture. And it will smell. And it will make you sad that you have to wash your pot and start again. This definitely happened to me the first time around. ARGH.
Step 4: Add milk and stir until well mixed and thickened, about 5 minutes.
Step 5: Add in 1 1/2 cups of your cheese, stirring until melted. This will probably take a LONG time. Took mine about 15ish minutes to make a full, creamy, thick sauce. Pain in the butt, but worth it!
Step 6: Add salt & pepper (about 1 1/2 tsp each) and stir in your cooked noodles.
Step 7: Pour into a 9x13 pan, top with the rest of your cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is fully melted & bubbling.
This mac & cheese is KILLER. It doesn't just taste like your run of the mill mac & cheese, I can guarantee you that. It's thick, creamy, salty, and completely satisfying.
What's one of your comfort food dishes?
It's gonna be cold here for a while, so pass them my way!