Ultimate Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

Creamy Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

PhotobucketI have joined up with Tina @ Mom’s Crazy cooking and her new Crazy Cooking Challenge to go on a quest to find the ultimate recipe of our favorite foods.

The basic rules: Go out into “Blog World” visit blogs we may have been wanting to get to know, have stumbled across or just find one we’ve never been to before. The challenge is then for us to pick a recipe from “Blog World”. It can be ANY recipe we’d like to try, but it MUST be from another blog. It cannot be from a celebrity chef like Rachel Ray or Taste of Home (bummer), etc., it needs to be a SPECIFIC recipe, then we bake it & blog about it. This month, our quest was to find the Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese recipe.

This one was a challenge for me for a couple of reasons. The first and primary reason, is that I have already found the Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese. However, I pressed on. Since our favorite Mac & Cheese recipe is more of a flavored dish, I thought I would seek out a more traditional recipe. I looked at hundreds. I had my own rules about what would make an Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese. Most important part was that I didn’t want it cooked in the oven – I wanted a stove top version, simply because in my experience, they tend to be the creamiest. My Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese has to be very creamy.

After much searching and weeks of reading recipes and blogs online, I finally found/chose my Macaroni and Cheese recipe.

My Recipe for the Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese as part of the Crazy Cooking Challenge for this month, is from Kelly Jaggers over at Evil Shenanigans.

Evil Shenanigans

I can’t stop visiting her site either. She had me hooked when I read:

I prefer my baked goods to be from scratch, I like to cook with fresh, local ingredients, I love grass feed beef and organic, free-range chicken, and I love all things exotic.  I can’t live without my butter, vanilla beans, chili peppers, and chocolate.

At any rate, I’m going to do a quick plug for her, because I was excited to see she had her first cookbook, Everything Pie, published this month. (Hey, it was published AFTER the challenge – she was NOT a celebrity chef when I chose her recipe, she might be now, but she wasn’t when I picked it. So there.)
As a fellow writer/author it makes me very happy to see her dreams coming true.
Everything Pie by Kelly Jaggers

Everything Pie is available here.
Now, onto the recipe. Which is sadly, not for pie.

 

ultimate macaroni and cheeseStove-top Mac & Cheese
Serves 4-6 adapted from Cooks Illustrated.

(printable recipe at the bottom of the post)

  • 8oz macaroni, or any smallish tube shaped pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 oz evaporated milk
  • 6 oz freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • Salt and pepper

Boil the pasta according to package directions, but reduce the cooking time by one minute.

Grate the cheese while you wait. You really shouldn’t use shredded. Here are her notes:

One thing I feel I must add is that you really should grate your cheese fresh.  Cheeses that come ready-grated have anti-caking agents in them which change the way they melt.  They also change the overall texture of the cheese sauce.  Of course, if it makes your life easier you can use the ready-grated stuff but the sauce may not be as creamy.

Also, if you are watching your figure, as so many of us are, you can use reduced-fat cheese (this you must grate yourself, reduced-fat ready-grated cheese will not work).  You can also use 2% evaporated milk.  The results are just as creamy, just as delicious, but far kinder to your thighs.

So get to grating that cheese.

ultimate macaroni and cheese

When the pasta has boiled sufficiently, drain and pour back into the pot.

Over medium-low heat, add the butter and stir until melted. Here is my first change to the recipe. I doubled the recipe since there is seven of us, and so I added a bit more butter than it called for (even doubled) to make sure that every noodle had some butter. Total I think I used about 3-4 Tbs.

Next, in a separate bowl, mix the egg, the evaporated milk, the dry mustard and the red pepper. It need to be mixed a lot better than this photo, which is way too lumpy and not blended yet.

ultimate macaroni and cheese

 

When you have finished mixing it all, pour the entire bowl over the pasta. Stir until it begins to thicken, about three to five minutes.

ultimate macaroni and cheese

Remove the pan from the heat then add the cheese in four installments, making sure the first is melted completely before adding the next. Believe it or not, this actually helps with the creaminess. I did wind up adding a splash of milk at the end to get just a little more creaminess at the end. You can do this or you can skip it.

ultimate macaroni and cheese

Serve immediately!

ultimate  macaroni and cheese

Ultimate Macaroni & Cheese Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Pasta
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 8oz macaroni, or any smallish tube shaped pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 oz evaporated milk
  • 6 oz freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta according to package directions, but reduce the cooking time by one minute.
  2. Grate the cheese while you wait.
  3. When the pasta has boiled sufficiently, drain and pour back into the pot.
  4. Over medium-low heat, add the butter and stir until melted. Here is my first change to the recipe. I doubled the recipe since there is seven of us, and so I added a bit more butter than it called for (even doubled) to make sure that every noodle had some butter. Total I think I used about 3-4 Tbs.
  5. Next, in a separate bowl, mix the egg, the evaporated milk, the dry mustard and the red pepper. It need to be mixed a lot better than this photo, which is way too lumpy and not blended yet.
  6. When you have finished mixing it all, pour the entire bowl over the pasta. Stir until it begins to thicken, about three to five minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat then add the cheese in four installments, making sure the first is melted completely before adding the next. Believe it or not, this actually helps with the creaminess. I did wind up adding a splash of milk at the end to get just a little more creaminess at the end. You can do this or you can skip it.
  8. Serve immediately

 

Comments

  1. says

    How funny! I just made an ultimate Mac & Cheese last night. It cost almost $40 and a trip to Central Market. I wish I could claim credit for it, but it is my former boss’s recipe (www.betweentheditches.com). It was delicious!

  2. Jennifer @ Mother Thyme says

    This looks fantastic and I love that it is on the stovetop! I love freshly grated cheese and try to use it as much as possible as well. Adding this to my recipe box! Can’t wait to try. Thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    my husband is allergic to eggs – do you think that could be omitted? or use something in it’s place?

    i voted for you – my mouth is watering! and thanks for the tip on the pre-shredded cheese! i never knew!

    • says

      @Heather, i’m not sure if the eggs could be omitted. I’m assuming they might, but maybe it wouldn’t be as creamy or the texture might change somewhat? I’m not sure. I’m sure they didn’t add much to the flavor, so that wouldn’t be the problem. I don’t know, but if you try it without, let me know how it turns out. Thanks so much for the vote. And you’re quite welcome for the cheese tip – it was news to me too. I didn’t realize it would affect it as much, but I’ve cooked with both, and she’s right!

  4. says

    I voted for you yesterday but forgot to comment as I was distracted too much by all those extremely cheesy yummy looking pictures. You are all a little evil teasing me like that. I am going to try yours ASAP because I know it will be delicious!

    • says

      @Sheri, thanks so much! It was a really good recipe and I know exactly what you mean by all the cheesy goodness – when the linky finally came up, I thought I’d died and gone to cheese heaven and I plan to try a couple of them. Guess what? Next month is Chocolate chip Cookies… guess who’s recipe is one that I’m going to taste test ;) xoxo

  5. says

    So many good recipes! It’s fun going through all of the blogs.

    Stopping by from Pattitudes. I’m #19 & still working my way through all the posts!

  6. says

    Oh my this looks delicious. I have been on the search for a homemade Mac and cheese recipe that I actually like. I’m excited to give this a try!
    Littlemudpies.blogspot.com

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  1. [...] Ultimate Macaroni & Cheese Recipe — Daily Dish Recipes After much searching and weeks of reading recipes and blogs online, I finally found/chose my Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Please be sure to VOTE for your favorite recipe! (see below) This one was a challenge for me for a couple of reasons. The first and primary reason, is that I have already found the Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese . [...]

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