At least the best mac and cheese I've made thus far...
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking
- 8 ounces uncooked elbow noodles
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon ground dry mustard dissolved in 1 teaspoon of water
- 12 ounces grated cheddar cheese (I used 8 ounces of new york style sharp cheddar and 4 ounces sharp pinconning)
- Dash of salt and pepper
- Dash of crushed red pepper (optional)
In a separate skillet, melt the butter and add evaporated milk, mustard, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and grated cheese. Stir over low heat until cheese is melted and barely forms a bubble (sauce should thicken as you go, but be careful not to let it get above 170 degrees or the mixture will curdle). Stir for about 5 minutes or until sauce is thick, and, after draining noodles, add them to the sauce and stir until blended.
My sauce didn't quite get thick enough so I just let the noodles sit in there for a few minutes and it came out great.
My dining companion was thoroughly impressed and went back for seconds, and this will easily serve 4 as a main dish or about 8 as a side. It was super simple, and using evaporated milk instead of fresh milk helped reduce the chance of curdling (which is one thing I hate about making mac and cheese) and it will DEFINITELY be a staple item in this house when I need some comfort food!