Mac ‘n cheese is a big hit at our house. I love it as a side dish, main dish, or just snack. My all-time fave “baked” mac ‘n cheese is this Grown up Mac ‘n Cheese, with gruyere, blue cheese, and bacon. I had been looking for a simpler mac ‘n cheese recipe that I can quickly do on the stove-top for days that I just don’t have time to grate three different kind of cheeses and wait for it to bake in the oven. I had tried several recipes before deciding this one from Alton Brown that turned out to be a winner at my house. The cheese sauce has perfect consistency and very cheesy. Make sure that you love the type of cheese that is used in the recipe because it will taste like you’re biting into a slice of that cheese.
When I first tried this recipe, I used extra-sharp cheddar cheese, which ended up a bit strong for me. I kept on looking for more macaroni in the sauce. Mixing in pumpkin puree added a very nice flavor balance and toned down the sharpness of the extra-sharp cheddar & it adds a serving of vegetable as well, score right? Another cheese that I have tried on this recipe was Fontina, and it had just a perfect balance of cheese (without being too cheesy!). .. yum!
Slightly adapted from Alton Brown via Food Network
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 cup of cooked pumpkin puree
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy. Add the cooked pumpkin puree. Serve warm.
Yield: 3-4 servings