Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Creamy Stove-Top Mac & Cheese

I have a confession to make.  Are you ready?  Okay, here is it.  I love the "blue box" mac & cheese.  There, I said it!  It is like mac & cheese crack!  But, like many others, I am trying to get away from processed foods in my life.  This has prompted me to figure out how to get that delicious, creamy, stove-top mac & cheese, in the same amount of time as the "blue box". 

Well, I am so excited to say that what I have come up with is actually BETTER that "the box" and it is ready in about the same amount of time!  I can't wait to show you how I did it! 

Let's get started! 

Creamy Stove-Top Mac & Cheese:
*Prep Time:  3 min.  *Cook Time:  15 min.  *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  6-8
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • 2 c. Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 c. Half and Half
  • 2 tbsp. Flour
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Sauce pot
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Cheese Grater
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Colander

As always, when cooking any pasta dish you start by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta.
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. 

While the pasta is cooking, take that opportunity to shred the cheese.
I like using block cheese because I feel like it melts better than the pre-shredded stuff, but whatever you like is fine.

After you shred the cheese you can focus on making the cheese sauce. 
You are going to make a roux, so to a sauce pot add the butter and flour.

Whisk the two together and cook for a couple of minutes.
This will get the flour taste out of your roux.

The next step is to add the ROOM TEMPERATURE  half and half.
The reason I like to use room temp half and half is that it will help the roux not to clump in the sauce. 
I have no idea the science behind it, I just know it works.  *lol*
Whisk until everything is well incorporated together.

Let the white sauce simmer until it thickens.
You will know the sauce is ready when you can draw a line on the back of your spoon and it holds.

Now you can turn the heat off and add the cheese.
Stir until all of the cheese until it is melted into the sauce.

Once the sauce is complete it is time to taste. 
Add any salt and pepper you think it needs.

The pasta should be done by now, so add it to the pot and stir everything until well coated!

And there is it, your very own homemade stove-top mac & cheese!

This mac & cheese is rich, creamy, cheesy, everything you love in "the blue box", but without all of the artificial stuff!  You can feel good about serving this to your family, and they are going to love you for it!  Give it a try for dinner tonight.

And as always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, Happy Living,
~The Kitchen Wife~


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