UPDATE Jan 13,2013: Newer version available with even less work and just as creamy.
This is my third try at this. I was inspired initially by a Trisha Yearwood show on Food Network. Very interesting. Then a Paula Deen recipe. Then many more. I made charts of ratios of cheese and milk to pasta. I listed spices, I saw cooking times from 2 to 5 hours. Basically, they were all over the place.
I started with the Paula Deen recipe since it seem to be the most popular. I made a number of changes but mainly it was more of a cut up casserole due to the eggs. My wife had a small serving but ultimately it was trashed. Taste adequate, texture very wrong. She wanted creamy and cheesy. Nothing else would do.
So I read comments and looked more. I decreased the egg and a few other changes. Still a no go but improving. THE EGG HAD TO GO! I did find another blogger who came to the same conclusion at Repeatcrafterme. Almost everyone else had the egg. This is basicly the Paula Deen recipe without egg with some simplification.
This is a 4 or a 5. My wife gave it a 4.5 as it stands. She has plans… See the notes.
Notes: My wife and I both agree with some Cayenne so I did add that is an option. We will be trying other cheeses with the next batch. Vary the spicing to match your favorite stove top or oven recipe. Add a meat. Be creative. I’m thinking some browned Panko bread crumbs and parmesan sprinkled on top at serving.
About crock pots. These can vary in temperature greatly so as they say, “your mileage may vary” in cooking time. I defined the end time as starting to get some browning. This was a little under two hours for me. The Deen recipe is at 3 hours. Can you say burnt?
If you do a variation, please share in the comments.
Start with a pan of hot water over high heat.
Once the water is boiling add 2 cups (about 8 oz) and cook for about 2/3 of the minimum time. Mine said 9 minutes so I cooked for 6 minutes.
Combine in a medium crock pot: 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 1/2 cups cheese ( I used sharp cheddar and and a little cojack. Use what you want/have), 4 T butter cut into several pieces, 1/2 t salt, pepper and dry mustard and one can (10 3/4 oz) cheddar cheese soup. Option of 1/4 t Cayenne pepper.
Drain the pasta well and combine in the slow cooker. Mix well. Turn on low.
Stir the pot about 20 minutes into cooking when the butter is melted. Mix very well. Stir again several more times. Just a light stir is good. It’s done when you are getting some browned cheese on the side of the pot and some light browning of some of the pasta on the edge. About 2 hours.
December 6 2013