Easy Stovetop Mac N Cheese

Easy Stovetop Mac N' Cheese

With a solid-food-eating 10 month-old, part of my meals usually go to the baby. It does motivate me to eat more fruit and vegetables, but I confess, I gots to eat cheese on the daily. Dairy is my favorite food group. Usually a sprinkle of parmesan on my eggs for breakfast, or a few cubes of cheddar on crackers at snack time suffice, but sometimes only a warm bowl of comforting, dairy-and-carb-laden macaroni and cheese will do.

Yes, mac and cheese can be had as easily as microwaving a bowl of water. But I just don’t feel right making it from a box when I can make it from scratch in the same amount of time. My version tastes better, too. Making a creamy, white bechamel sauce of roux and milk takes just a few minutes, and your options for cheese, pasta type, and toppings are endless. A couple of examples: ham and peas with gruyere on shells; spinach and mushrooms with mozzarella on cavatappi. Here, I kept it classic with broccoli and cheddar on penne. Bon appetit!

Mac and Cheese

STOVETOP MAC N’ CHEESE
Prep time: 3 min  Cook time: 12 minutes
Yield: 3 servings

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/4 c 2% milk
1 1/2 c shredded cheese (I used a mixture of mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, and monterey jack)
1/2 tsp salt
1 c broccoli, washed and trimmed
1 1/2 c pasta, any shape (I used penne)
dash of paprika (optional)
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
fresh cracked pepper (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Boil pasta according to package directions. When five minutes remain, add broccoli to boiling pasta water. When time is up, drain in colander and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat.
  3. When butter is melted and beginning to bubble add the flour and whisk to form a roux.
  4. Cook roux, whisking constantly, until light brown and nutty in aroma, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add half of the milk and salt, and whisk until smooth in consistency. Then add remaining milk and whisk until smooth in consistency.
  6. Turn down heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add shredded cheese and stir until melted. Turn off heat.
  8. Stir in cayenne, paprika, and cracked black pepper.
  9. Fold cooked pasta and broccoli into cheese sauce and serve immediately.Mac and Cheese closeup
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s