Friday, February 25, 2011

Deb's Favorite Macaroni and Cheese

When I was a child, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was the best macaroni and cheese EVER!  But then I grew up and over time it stopped tasting as good.  Since being a stay at home mom, I've had the time to refine my homemade version.  Just to brag a little, my kids think it's much better than the box kind!

1-1 pound box of macaroni
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
4 ounces cream cheese
2-4 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons of worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground mustard
Salt/Pepper to taste

1. Cook the macaroni for 6 minutes.  (Most boxes show al dente done at 7 minutes.  If your box calls for longer, cook one minute less than the suggested al dente time.)

2. Drain most of the water from the pasta.  Leave pasta in the pan and place it back on the burner over medium heat.

3. Break up cream cheese into small chunks and add it to the pan.  Add in butter, worcestershire and ground mustard.  Stir until cream cheese and butter have fully incorporated into the macaroni and cheese.

4. If the pasta/sauce is looking dry, add up to one cup of milk.

5.  Stir in shredded sharp cheddar one handful at a time.  Allow each handful to melt before the next addition.

6. If the pasta starts to loose the creamy texture, add more milk until it's the consistency that you like.

7. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Typically the salt in the cheese is enough to salt the entire dish and you will not have to add any. 

8.  Serve and enjoy!

The creaminess of the macaroni and cheese is all up to you.  If it seems to thick, thin it out with milk.  Also add  a bit of milk while reheating.  It will bring back the proper consistency. 

This also works well for baked macaroni and cheese.  Add half of the completed macaroni and cheese to a buttered 9x13 baking dish.  Grab another bag of sharp cheddar cheese and put a thin layer over what you poured in the dish.  Add the rest of the macaroni and cheese to the dish.  Spread it out evenly.  Add 1 cup of milk.  In a small bowl, mix 3/4 cup of bread crumbs with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Don't make mush, just coat the bread crumbs. Add in a couple of dashes of seasoned salt and stir.  Place the bread crumbs evenly over the macaroni and cheese.  Bake at 350 until it's bubbly and serve!

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