Friday, September 18, 2009

Skillet Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

I am never disappointed when I visit My Kitchen Cafe. There is always something yummy posted on Melanie's blog. This dish was no exception. It appealed to me because my family loves homemade macaroni, but the version I make requires making a sauce and then combining the sauce with the noodles and then baking it. Which of course takes a ton of time and creates a lot of heat in my kitchen. So I gave this a whirl. It was great! I added frozen peas and carrots and ham (sorry I didn't take a picture- I was running late for taking my husband his lunch at work but if you really need to see one click the link above). I think you could easily add any cooked meat with any complimentary veggie to make a more complete meal, or you could easily just serve the macaroni plain. Also, when I made this dish, I cut down on the amount of cheese I used. Not only does this cut down on the calories, it also cuts down on the cost- but I promise, you won't miss the extra cheese! I'm sure it's even more delicious with all of the cheese, but what I'm saying is it is ok to cut down on the amount. So if you're looking for a last minute dinner idea, give this a try!

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese
adapted by My Kitchen Cafe from The Best Skillet Recipes

3 1/2 cups water, plus extra if needed
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk (I used reconstituted powdered milk. For instructions go here.)
12 ounces (about 3 cups) elbow macaroni
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (I left this out)
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (I also left this out)
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

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 (I didn't need any additional water when I made it). Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Ham and Pea Variation
Follow the recipe, adding 4 ounces deli-style baked ham, diced medium, and 1/2 cup frozen peas to the skillet with the cornstarch mixture in step 2.

1 comment:

  1. Tari - I'm glad this worked for you and I'm glad to note your changes of reconstituted milk (genius!) and less cheese!


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