Memories of Mac & Cheese

So one of my goals this year is to be a little more helpful to Greg.  He is an amazing person who takes very good care of me and the kids.  I joke to people a lot that he is a better wife and mother than I am.  Well, for those of you who know him, really know him, you know I’m not kidding. One of Greg’s many talents is that he is excellent in the kitchen.  He bakes, he cooks,and he cleans up after himself.  He rocks.  If there is something that we like at a restaurant he creates it from scratch at home so we can eat it whenever we want.  Over the past few years the kitchen has been his domain.  I can’t compete with my limited skill (or even more limited desire).

Disclaimer:  remember we’re talking about my H-U-S-B-A-N-D here, so *BACK OFF!*  He’s taken.  Raise your own amazing husband.

Okay, had to get that out, and now that it’s out I can get back to my point.  My point is this: on the nights that Greg is driving an hour and a half home after a long day at work I feel like I should step up to the plate (ha, ha) and make dinner.  It would relieve stress from him and it would be good for me to learn some new recipes since I came into the relationship with only 7.  One for everyday of the week.  (there is a reason I don’t cook dinner, keep this in mind!)  Maybe my kids will like something I make or see that I’m trying to be a help to my spouse or maybe I’ll drag  include them in the kitchen with me so they can learn a thing or two as well.  Sounds like a win situation all the way around huh?  We’ll see how it works.

Lately I’ve been craving homemade macaroni and cheese.  Creamy yumminess that is no doubt one of this Southerner’s comfort foods.  I’ve made this one time before and it didn’t turn out so well, I’ve been hesitant to try again, but BY DARN IT, I will not let the Mac & Cheese conquer me!  I turned to my boyfriend go-to guy where recipes are concerned knowing he would not let me down.  Alton Brown.  {we love Alton at my house.  Greg has seen every episode of Good Eats and Feasting on . . . Greg even met Alton a few years ago at Costco at a book signing.  I have a picture of them together.  Both of them wearing black turtlenecks, wire-rimmed glasses, and hairstyles similar.  SO cute!)

Here is what dinner looked like:

The recipe turned out really well.  It satisfied my craving.  A couple of notes about it that I would change though is this:  First, boil your pasta in tomato sauce and water.  The tomato sauce flavors the pasta really nicely.  And it kind of cuts the bite of the cheese.  Second, I would not put as much sharp cheddar as the recipe calls for.  It turns out VERY sharp, so I would split the amount between sharp and mild or even Colby.  Third, pepper.  It was the other thing that cut the sharpness of the cheese.  Very important.  But you can add it to your own helping and not to the whole pot.  Other than that, it was a hit at the dinner table.  Oh, the memories that I mention in the title?  Well, I remember eating macaroni and cheese with tuna and canned peas as a kid and loving it.  Can’t stand canned peas now, but YUMM-O in mac & cheese!!!  Tonight’s dinner, the mac & cheese with sausage (which my kids call big hot dogs) and peas is my adult version of my childhood favorite. 

Here is Alton’s recipe for Stove Top Mac-N-Cheese:

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large pot of boiling, salted water (remember my tip here about tomato sauce – I did one 15 ounce can then added 2 of those cans worth of water to cook my pasta in) cook the pasta to al dente and drain.  Return to the pot and melt in the butter.  Toss to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard.  Stir into the pasta and add the cheese.  Over low hear continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

Make 6-8 servings.

That’s it!  Dinner in under 30 minutes.  I know it was good.  I hope it was helpful.

6 comments on “Memories of Mac & Cheese

  1. Susan January 27, 2011 3:14 AM

    Sounds good except the hot sauce. I can’t imagine mac & cheese with hot sauce. Ewwwww. And Pete’s allergic to eggs. I made mac & cheese the other day. Good for you getting into the kitchen and making dinner. Yay Mandi!

    • mandi January 27, 2011 4:18 AM

      to be honest, you can’t taste the hot sauce. I might leave it out next time just to see if there is a difference.
      I would *hate* being allegic to eggs! I’m sorry! 🙁
      thanks for the compliment. 🙂

  2. Greg Deputy January 27, 2011 10:45 PM

    yeah, the hot sauce just adds to the flavor, you dont taste any hot. It was/is awesome!

    BTW, Mandi, you’re too kind to me…

    • mandi January 28, 2011 2:41 AM

      oh nay nay, my love, it is YOU who are too kind to ME!

  3. Colleen January 31, 2011 3:47 AM

    Delish! I like fast and easy, and Alton!

  4. Arienne February 6, 2011 6:24 AM

    I can’t stop laughing at “Raise your own amazing husband” – hilarious! My kids were so severely traumatized when I made homemade mac & cheese that they wouldn’t eat it for months! Spoiled rotten kids now have to watch me make it from the blue box. It’s sad. This recipe looks really good though. And we love Alton in our house but most likely not as obsessed as you two seem to be. 🙂

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