Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese


I would love to see a show of hands of all the moms out there who have almost completely depended on mac-n-cheese to nourish their thriving little ones!  I'm in the same boat with you!  While there is something ridiculously classic about that blue box with the yellow powder that masquerades as cheese (I mean, really?!), I really would like my kids to adore a homemade {read: real} version.

This version is pretty doggone close!  I love that it is a one-skillet dish--separate pots for water, cheese sauce, and then a casserole dish to bake in is not necessary!  Just haul out your biggest skillet and go to town!  In about 15 minutes, you will have a yummy, creamy bowl of mac-n-cheese to delight even your pickiest little munchkin!

For those of you who have the luxury of indulging in a bowl of creamy, cheesy mac-n-cheese sans the impatient demands, messes, and spills of little people under the age of 5, this is the perfect comfort food for the cold winter days ahead!  

Enjoy!

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese in a Skillet
Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

3 1/2 cups water, plus extra if needed
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
12 ounces (about 3 cups) elbow macaroni
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks
Ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
Bring 3 1/2 cups water, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, the macaroni, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the macaroni is tender and the liquid has thickened, 9 to 12 minutes.

Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk, the cornstarch, mustard and hot sauce together in a small bowl, then stir into the skillet. Continue to simmer slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Off the heat, stir in the cheddar and Monterey Jack, one handful at a time, adding water as needed to adjust the consistency of the sauce. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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