The ultimate winter comfort food

So today I have for you a recipe because I heard you like recipes. 😉

I think macaroni and cheese is the ultimate winter comfort food, but I don’t like the radioactive orange tint of the boxed version and didn’t have the patience to make it the traditional way tonight. This recipe comes from Budget Bytes Blog, which does a terrific job with the step-by-step pictures as well as a cost breakdown. Here’s their image of the finished dish:

Miracle-Mac

Miracle Mac & Cheese

Prep time: 5 min., Cook time: 20 min

2-1/4 cups milk
2 cups (1/2 lb.) dry macaroni
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
10-15 cranks fresh cracked pepper (optional)

  • Combine the dry macaroni and 2 cups of milk in a medium pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium/high heat while occasionally stirring.
  • As soon as it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer until the pasta is tender (about 10-15 minutes). Stir often to keep the pasta from clumping or sticking to the bottom of the pot. Promptly replace the lid each time to help hold in the moisture.
  • Once the pasta is soft and has absorbed most of the milk, season with salt, pepper, paprika, and Dijon, or the spices of your choice. If the mixture begins to look dry, add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk.
  • Turn the heat off and stir in the shredded cheese. Serve immediately.

So easy! I love not having to make a roux because whenever I try, I end up with quarts of it and much too large a batch of pasta. This recipe makes four kid-sized servings, two adult-sized servings, or one hungry-person serving.

One thing I must tell you is that you have to watch the pot every single minute to ensure it does not boil over so that you don’t get a charred mess on your stove burner as I did this evening! It seemed to be taking forever to boil, so I turned my attention to other things for a moment and whoosh, over it went. No matter, everything came out fine. Not sure if it’s that much healthier than the traditional version with roux since there’s still 2 cups of milk and a cup of cheese in it, but it also has not one single artificial ingredient. I felt better about eating it, anyway, and I bet you will, too.

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