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|“Macaroni and Cheese at Chez Meredith” • April 1, 2006|
Macaroni and Cheese?? YEAH!!!!
OK, time for more pedestrian guy pleasing stuff. I keep doing these “ordinary” things because people cook a lot of “ordinary” things and they sometimes cook them really bad! DON’T EAT CRUMMY FOOD!!!!!!
If you are going to stoke up on macaroni and cheese, then for Goshsakes, DO IT RIGHT!!
AND — since this is Chez Meredith, we’re gonna do it right — and do it quick and easy, too — and do it very wicked — and boy oh boy does it taste good!! And your guys will have smiles that reach from ear to ear!!!
And before all of you calorie counter types try to give me a hard time, remember that the idea is to eat a SMALL portion and not to eat tasteless food!!
So let’s start with “sea shell” macaroni. By the way, this will warm up super yummy, too! You can eat on it for a week! (Or you can double the recipe and feed one guy a single serving!!)
For the sea shell version, I like to use the big shells, although the small ones taste the same, I just like the look of the larger ones. Use a 12 ounce bag of shell macaroni, (that seems to be the more or less standard size in the grocery stores.) Use a big cooking pot and fill it with cold water and a teaspoon of salt. Without the salt, your macaroni is gonna be sticky. Bring the salted water to a furious boil, then dump in the shells. I usually cook them for about seven minutes. Check the package for their recommended time but keep in mind that most of the time they want you to cook pasta to the “mush” stage. I like mine firm, or as they say, “al dente.”
This is a good time to have a male labor available. Put you male to tending the pot. At high heat, it’s gonna try to boil over, so set you male to stirring it up. As it foam up, have him lift the pot for a second so the bubbles will pop. Boiling rapidly like this will drive off some of the surface starch from the shells. Train you guy to skim it off while he’s stirring. This will also help keep your pasta from being sticky.
Either while he is tending the pot, or before hand if you’ve got to solo, get the other stuff ready. On a piece of aluminum foil, cut off about a 2 inch thick slice of Kraft Velveeta cheese. That is a two inch chunk from a two pound package. That’s about 6 to 8 ounces if you’re using some other size packaging. I usually don’t pay a lot of attention to brands, but in this case, I haven’t found ANYTHING that works as well as Kraft Velveeta. Cut the cheese into small pieces for easy melting and let them warm up on the foil.
Also on the foil, add a quarter stick of real butter to let it soften. And don’t try to slip in any of the “plastic low-cal” butter type stuff! Remember, NO CRUMMY FOOD!
OK, time’s up! Drain the macaroni and return it immediately to the cooking pot. Turn off the cook top burner, but set the pot back on the “cooling” burner. This will provide just the right amount of heat.
Dump in the cheese and butter. Now stir until both of them are mostly melted and well distributed — excellent male activity!
Now turn on the stove to low to medium heat. Add a quarter cup of half and half while your guy keeps stirring. Check the consistency of the cheese sauce. If it’s a little too thick, add up to an eighth cup more half and half.
AND — YES — use half and half!! We’re making something good here! NO CRUMMY FOOD! (For anyone reading this overseas, half and half is half cream and half milk. It’s usually sold in pints because a little goes a long way.)
As soon as the sauce is all melted, it’s time for you and your male to sample this little treat! This is macaroni and cheese at it’s best! Yum! Yum!! (And watch your guy dancing for joy! They really do make excellent pets if you train them properly!)
For a variation, use rigatoni instead of the shells. Cook for about 10 minutes to get it just firm. Make your sauce the same way, but at the end, add a can of tomato sauce and mix it in. This one is just as yummy!!
The cheese sauce can also be made separately and poured over just about anything. It can really yummy up vegetables. Try it with broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, cauliflower, and any other dipping vegetables! Or try pouring it into split open baked potatoes. You can turn a lot of meat eaters into vegetable eaters with this little chesse goodie!!
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Last Updated: April 2006
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