I mention in my profile my 8-year-old son only likes steak and macaroni and cheese. What I don’t mention is he doesn’t like just any macaroni and cheese. In fact, he won’t eat boxed macaroni and cheese at all. No, he will only eat my stove top macaroni and cheese. Lucky for me, the stove top version takes only about as much time as the boxed macaroni and cheese.
Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese
This recipe is adapted from an Alton Brown (Good Eats) recipe.
2 ½ cups of elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
6 ounces evaporated milk
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the eggs, milk, Tabasco, salt and mustard. When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and then return the pasta to the pot, and add the butter stirring to melt the butter and coat the pasta. Stir the egg mixture into the pasta and add the cheese. Cook over low heat while continuing to stir for three minutes or until creamy. Serves 6
The next macaroni and cheese recipe was my mother-in-law’s recipe, and I’m not sure where she got it. My son eats this macaroni and cheese only grudgingly. I think his aversion comes from when he was three-years-old and in preschool. The teachers at his school were nice enough to heat his lunch, so he was able to eat a hot lunch everyday. So, I packed this macaroni and cheese for his lunch one day, and sent him on his way. That evening, I asked him how he liked his lunch. He ran and got his lunch box and said to me, “I didn’t eat it. There was sand in my macaroni and cheese.” He opened the container, and showed me the macaroni and cheese with the breadcrumbs on top. He thought the breadcrumbs were sand. I laughed until I realized the poor guy didn’t get anything to eat for lunch. I think this experience changed him. To this day he doesn’t like baked macaroni and cheese because of the breadcrumbs. The rest of the family doesn’t share his aversion, so I make this recipe every so often, and I scrape the breadcrumbs off his portion.
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb elbow macaroni (I use the giant elbows for this recipe)
¼ cup butter
6 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk
4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 slices of sandwich bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°. Cook pasta using package directions. Melt butter in a large pot. Add the flour and mix until combined and cook for a minute or two. Whisk milk in slowly, and cook until thickened. Add the salt and cheese and stir until combined. Add the drained pasta, and pour into a greased 9x13 dish. For the topping: Place the bread into a food processor and pulse until you have breadcrumbs. Mix the 2 tablespoons of melted butter into the breadcrumbs, and sprinkle on top of the macaroni and cheese mixture. Place the macaroni and cheese in the preheated oven, and cook for 20-30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.