A week or so I had a craving. A craving of the most serious kind. I’m talking “I need to go to the store immediately to get the ingredients to make this NOW” kind of craving. And it was for something ooey, gooey, and cheesy. I decided that nothing but Macaroni and Cheese would satisfy this craving.
I have a Mac ‘n Cheese preference though. I really like it to be creamy. I feel like some baked mac ‘n cheese recipes turn out kind of dry and gummy almost. As though all the creaminess just evaporated or was sucked into the pasta. I need a nice creamy, cheese sauce covering my macaroni. None of that baked non-sense. So I turned to a stovetop recipe. I knew I would get the results I wanted with that method, the real task was to decide which recipe to use.
There are just SO many great mac ‘n cheese recipes out there, it was a pretty tough decision. In the end I decided to go with my old standby- Cooks Illustrated. They usually deliver about 90% of the time. And this recipe stood out of the crowd since it used evaporated milk and eggs instead of the standard bechamel-type cheese sauce. I wanted to see how it would go.
And it worked! It worked very well actually. The sauce ended up beautifully creamy and smooth with great texture. The flavor though really depends on the cheeses you use. I used a 50/50 combination of cheddar and monterey-jack. I think it would have been better going 100% cheddar or 100% American. I just think that the monterey-jack didn’t deliver on the traditional mac ‘n cheese flavor. My girlfriend makes a great mac ‘n cheese simply from American cheese slices, milk, and butter. It’s pretty darn good for something so simple. I really think that she is on to something with the American cheese thing. But really, it’s up to you and your taste buds!
- 2 large eggs
- 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
- 1 tsp dry mustard, dissolved in 1 tsp water
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp hot sauce (or pinch of cayenne pepper)
- 8 oz elbow macaroni (2 cups)
- 4 Tb unsalted butter
- 12 oz sharp cheddar, American, or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (3 cups)
- Mix eggs, 1 cup evaporated milk, mustard mixture, ½ tsp salt, pepper, and hot sauce in bowl.
- Meanwhile, bring 2 qts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1½ tsp salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Drain pasta and return to pot over low heat. Add butter and toss to melt.
- Add egg mixture and three-quarters of cheese mixture to pasta and toss until thoroughly combined and cheese starts to melt. Gradually add remaining evaporated milk and remaining cheese, stirring constantly, until mixture is hot and creamy, about 5 minutes. Let stand to thicken if needed. Serve warm.