JBelle's Mac and Cheese
There was a brief, brief period of time where we used the box. It's not something we're proud of. It was a weird time in our life. If anything, it gave us an overriding appreciation and value for good cheese and a properly salted and oiled water. Thank God those days are long gone. This will please every little kid who ever graces your door and many of the big kids, too. But know this: they will eat like truck drivers.
1 pkg salad macaroni,
cooked with oil and salt to al dente,
draining in colander in sink
2 pounds sharp cheddar, grated
1 cube butter
1 cup flour
2 cans evaporated milk
Heat a large saute pan until hot and melt butter. Immediately turn heat way down as butter will burn quite easily. Using a small mesh strainer, sift flour into the bubbling butter and stir in quickly with wire whip to avoid lumps. The heat should be very low at this stage. Once the bubbling butter has absorbed the flour, add one can of milk in a very small steady stream, stirring very fast. Continue to whip and stir until milk is absorbed. Stir in next can of milk similarly as butter/flour mixture cooks. Repeat: heat is very low. If your timing is off and you end up with lumps, pour the butter/flour mixture into the sieve and strain into another bowl, using the wire whip to eliminate all lumps. Turn back into saute pan. Turn heat off. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. You have to be careful with the cayenne. I always forget a little goes a long way and that even the slightest bit too much cayenne will ravage those little taste buds even if the teenage boys and their daddys love the cayenne. Slightly undersalt to taste as the sharp cheese will force a technical correction to proper seasoning. Turning heat back on, add all the grated cheese except for two healthy handsful. With a wooden spoon, stir in cheese to melt, getting to the bottom of the pan and turning the cheese into and over the sauce. You should have a perfect cheese sauce at this stage. Turn the macaroni back into cooking pan and pour cheese sauce over, incorporating into the macaroni with wooden spoon. Turn into a sprayed casserole and top with the remaining cheese. Bake 350 degrees until cheese browns and bubble. More hugs. Lots and lots of smiles. Very few preservatives.
Note: I use salad macaroni because the little spoons seem to get it into the little mouths better.
The 'Kan EWA