Cheater Macaroni and Cheese

I talked up my super-easy macaroni and cheese method while trying a new (and pretty meh) method of cooking the noodles in milk.  I’m going to share the cheater magic with you.

Things you need:

  • Noodles. Elbows are nice, spaghetti is fun, rotini is a nice twist on the original. Whatever you have and like to eat.
  • Cheese. Sharp or extra-sharp, please. Others need not apply unless you don’t like the taste of cheese.  If that’s you, why are you eating this?
  • Cream. Buy non ultra-pasteurized if you can.
  • Salt. I use kosher salt.
  • Pepper. If little black specks in your macaroni and cheese freak you out, just don’t use it. They don’t bother me and I like it, so I use it.

Cook some noodles.  If you want to super-cheat, use the cooking-noodles-faster hack previously featured on KH.  I usually do this when I make macaroni and cheese.  Don’t forget to salt the water!

Drain the noodles. Self-explanatory. I have pots and pans that allow you to strain through the lid.  Slightly more precarious, one less thing to wash.  Toss-up. If you use a strainer, put the noodles back in the pan.

Add your cream ASAP.  That pan is still hot and if you don’t add some liquid before the water burns off, those noodles will burn onto the bottom.  Ask me how I know.  Add some salt and pepper.

It should look like slightly runny macaroni and cheese.  The concern is adding too much, but even that can be remedied by just letting it cook down.

Let the cream get hot, then stir in your grated cheese.  If you’re cool, you grate your own cheese.  If you’re even cooler, you already did it for the week.  If you’re amazingly cool, you store your grated cheese in a mason jar.  Add more cream if necessary.  I usually think it’s necessary and if it looks like I’ll need a lot, I sometimes add milk.  Then it’s not quite as good though.

Check for saltiness and add more if necessary.  I honestly like it with some salt sprinkled over the top at the end for salty-surprise bites, but do whatever you like.

And now you know how to make my favorite of all time bachelorette/eating-alone/there-is-nothing-in-the-house dish.  Add some garlic and parmesan instead of the cheddar and enjoy some alfredo.  To add vegetables, heat up (or heck, even cook) some vegetables before you add the noodles back to the pan and continue with your desired cheese.  Try it lots of ways and you’ll not only perfect cheater macaroni and cheese, you’ll be able to make swanky macaroni and cheese too.

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