Tuesday, April 5, 2011

No-Bake Mac 'N Cheese

I have been craving really tasty, creamy, homemade mac 'n cheese.  You know, the kind that doesn't come from a box.  But sometimes it is just too darn hot to turn on the oven.  So, I made up this recipe for tasty, creamy homemade mac 'n cheese, no baking required.  It is delicious!

  • pasta -- elbow macaroni, shells... whatever strikes your fancy.  (I used a whole 7 oz. bag of cute mini shells from Picard.)
  • several cups of milk (enough to cover the pasta in the pot -- you boil the pasta in milk instead of water... I realize that sounds weird!)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups of grated cheese (use cheddar or any cheese you have, or a combination -- I used cheddar and mozzarella with a dash of parmesan because I was feeling wild)
  • 1/8 of a block of cream cheese (I think a little cottage cheese, ricotta, goat cheese, or blue cheese would work, too -- this gives the extra creaminess!!!)
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter (I am not big on butter so used 2-3)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • everyday seasoning (optional) (a dash of Italian seasoning would be good, too!)
  • garlic salt (optional) 
  1. Pour uncooked pasta into a pot and pour in enough milk to cover the pasta (so it can come to a boil). (You boil the pasta in milk, not water.  Sounds totally weird, I know, but it works and makes the recipe really easy!) 
  2. Bring milk to a boil and cook pasta for 1-2 minutes less than the recommended cooking time on the pasta box/bag.  Stir occaisionally so that milk doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.  
  3. Turn heat down to a simmer and stir in 2-4 tablespoons of butter (depending on how buttery you'd like your mac 'n cheese) until melted and mixed in.
  4. Stir in 2 tablespoons of flour to thicken the sauce a little.  Stir until flour is mixed in and invisible.  
  5. Stir in 1/8 a block of cream cheese until melted.
  6. Stir in shredded cheese until combined.  
  7. Season with salt and pepper.  (I am addicted to Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning so I threw in a few shakes of that too, and also added a few dashes of garlic salt which made it really tasty.)
  8. FEAST like it's 1999.

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