So, last night, I was determined. I wanted to make Macaroni and Cheese. from scratch. No Shells and Cheese here, just good ol fashioned homemade Mac and Cheese. And I had never made it before. So I did a little bitta research on how it's done, and made my own little interpretation...
2 cups dried macaroni
2 tbsp butter
1/8 cup flour
1 1/4 cups milk (whole milk is best here... i know, i know, i don't use it either)
1 heaping tsp dry mustard
1 egg, beaten
2 cups cheese (use cheddar. i love cheddar. i used cheddar)
1/4 cup cheese (cheddar!)
1/2 tsp season salt
1 tsp black pepper
Tiny bit of cayenne pepper (not too much!! and you can leave it out, if you like)
Paprika, Thyme, and Parsley are sometimes added as well, so do what you like.
First of all, cook that macaroni like the package says, except leave it too al dente to eat straight outta your pan. (test this by sneaking a piece or two. this is my problem when cooking, i could just grab handfuls of plain ol' pasta.) Back to the macaroni, throw that junk in your colander in the sink, and let the babies cool while you work making the sauce...
Melt the butter in a saucepan on lowish heat. Don't burn it. I hate burnt butter. Once it's all melted, mix in the flour, and whisk it like you've never whisked before, and keep whisking it while it cooks up for about 2-3 minutes. Add in the milk and the mustard, whisking whisking whisking all the while, and cook on medium low heat, until it gets thick and bubbly, which will be about 5 minutes. but keep stirring it and whisking it, because it will burn, and then you will be unhappy. Reduce your heat to low.
Now comes that beaten egg. Beat that sucker. then, take a large spoonful of your happy sauce, and stir it into your egg, and keep stirring so you don't cook the egg. Then, plop it all back into the big sauce mixture. Add in the cheese and keep stirring til it melts. Then add all your seasonings. Taste it. If you want to add more, add more. It all depends on how weak all your stuff is. Make sure it's all mixed together and smooth, and then throw in all that delicious carbiness of macaroni, and stir to combine. The macaroni is screaming "hello, lover"...
So, you now have a choice.
You can eat it now. Just like it is.
You can pour it into a buttered dish (a square glass 8x8 is what I used), top with that extra cheese I told you about, and bake for 25 minutes on 350 degrees F. It will be all bubbly and golden on top and everything mac and cheese should be.
My review: Delicious delicious delicious. Soooo good. But it also took way more effort than my shells and cheese that I adore. I would totally make it again, on a day that I have more time. It was amazingly delicious, both before baking and after. Depends how you like it. But you will like it. I promise.