Previous Macaroni and Cheese editions:
Remember that car accident from the fall?
Yeah, well, apparently my shoulder has developed a case of PTSD because it has been screaming in pain for the past four or five weeks. I broke down last week and went to an orthopedist, who gave me a prescription for 500mg of naproxen (one Aleve is 220mg) and sent me to physical therapy. I was hoping for something less, um, physical. I wanted a pill. I didn’t actually want to do any work here. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Monday was my first appointment. It was your average consultative appointment, which I was warned would take more than an hour. This meant that dinner needed to be something made in advanced and reheatable.
WHAT WORKED: The reheatability factor. The mixture of cheeses was pretty good here as well, though I might consider something a little sharper to contrast the creamy Muenster on the next try. Oh, and I had some shredded colby jack in the fridge that I threw in. There’s no such thing as too much cheese.
WHAT DIDN’T: My mustard powder is apparently old because it made absolutely no difference here in terms of flavor.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “I liked it. I wasn’t sure I was going to since I heated it up in the microwave, but it was good.”
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Likely. It’s a very easy, very quick recipe to assemble.
Essential Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from Kitchen Confidence By Kelsey Nixon via Serious Eats
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 32 oz. milk, scalded (JARED’S NOTE: Nixon calls for whole. I used 1% because it’s what I had on hand. Some milkfat is necessary here, so don’t use skim.)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
- 1/2 lb. Muenster cheese, shredded (2 cups)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a stockpot or other large pot of water to boil. Salt liberally with kosher salt and cook pasta as directed on the package. Drain the pasta and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Use a flat whisk to mix in the flour, whisking constantly until it forms a paste and bubbles, about two minutes. Add 3 cups of milk to the pan and whisk until the sauce begins to thicken, about five minutes. Adjust flavors with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook two more minutes.
Stir in the dry mustard and cayenne pepper. Then add the cheese in batches. Stir until the cheese melts, then add the last of the milk.
Transfer the pasta to a bowl then top with cheese sauce. Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper, stir, then top with Parmesan cheese. Let stand a couple of minutes so the cheese can be absorbed by the pasta.