I hate the blue box. You know the one. The one the kid love that goes to prove that taste buds are defective before puberty. The runny yellow stuff that passes for cheese. My kid would wolf it down especially if there were hot dogs in it. Well there is a better way.
Months ago my nurse practitioners dragged me to a restaurant that has a variety of mac and cheese as their specially. Very good. Definitely not the blue box stuff. Then last week my wife broke into the “yellow box” mac and cheese for lunch that we had on hand for the grandchild. I had forgot how much she likes it so I went in search of a recipe.
My criteria would be:
1) Common ingredients, preferably all things I have in the house at all times.
2) Not runny
3) Parmesan and bread crumb topping.
4) A little spice for taste.
First I did a Google search and got the “Ronald Reagan’s Mac and Cheese” recipe. If Ronnie liked it, it can’t be bad. But it looked runny. I checked CI and got a recipe that would take hours to make but at least had some good tips. I continued to look and as I cruised the blogs I found a good start at Plain Chicken. I love this site and she has 8 mac and cheese recipes ( I think I counted right). I wanted her most recent recipe “Southern Style Mac and Cheese” which she modified from The Deen Family Cookbook. The egg and sour cream should give me the texture I wanted. But I added Parmesan bread crumbs on top and added some cayenne pepper for taste.
Results 9.2 Taste 9.5 Ease 9
Time Prep 15 minutes and cooking 35 minutes
Notes: The eggs add the structure I wanted. I didn’t have the traditional elbow macaroni but I used whole wheat penne. I also substituted Colby-jack cheese for half the cheddar for a different taste. And lastly used a shallow baking dish so I could have more topping. I love the taste and crunch of the topping,
Tools: Shallow baking dish
8 oz Pasta of your choice
4 T butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t dry mustard
1/8-1/4 t cayenne pepper (your taste)
2 cups cheese of your choice (I used 1 c sharp cheddar and 1 cup Colby-jack)
4 T butter
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1) Cook pasta fully per instructions on box. Do not under cook. Preheat oven to 375 convection. Proceed with next steps will cooking.
2) In large bowl, place 4 T butter and microwave for 20 seconds or so to just melt butter.
3) Add eggs, milk, sour cream, salt, pepper, mustard and cayenne pepper. Whisk until mixed well.
4) In a small skillet, melt 4 T butter over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and mix well. Remove from heat and allow to cook for several minutes then add parmesan and mix well.
5) When pasta is done, drain well and add to egg mixture. Add shredded cheese and mix well.
6) Spray pan with PAM and add mixture. Add topping.
7) Cook until top is brown and internal temp is 160 degrees. About 35 minutes.