And what better way to kick things off then to whip up a delicious side dish like good old Mac & Cheese? Oh no no no...not the boxed stuff, I mean yikes, please...I'm talking the real thing!
I know, I know...there are literally THOUSANDS of recipe versions out there - and I'm guessing that you probably already have your version tucked away. HOWEVER, what if there were an easy Mac & Cheese out there that you could slam onto the table is 15 minutes or less? A Mac & Cheese that you could customize effortlessly - a little more cheddar, possibly slide some Asiago in there or maybe sautéed onions or even crumbled bacon - YUM! I have a friend that even pops a few sliced jalapeños in her version - and I must confess, I would love to try that someday!
Being a busy mom, I rarely have the time to wait an hour or more for a side dish to complete baking in the oven. That being said, this recipe is my go-to quickie Mac & Cheese solution. Enjoy friends!!
Quick Stove Top Mac & Cheese - makes 4 servings
8 oz. elbow pasta
1 TBL unsalted butter
4-5 oz. sharp cheddar cheese - grated
2 oz. Velveeta - cubed
1/4 cup parmesan cheese - grated
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup 2% milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard - has to happen, trust me - don't leave it out
salt and pepper to taste (I use about 1/4 tsp of each)
dash of Texas Pete - or any favorite hot sauce (a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes will work too)
*Panko crumbs - optional* (but super yummy!)
Okay, this is super uncomplicated ~ just have all of your ingredients ready to roll and I promise this recipe will be tasty and painless. (wink!)
Prepare your pasta in a pot according to the package instructions...but try not to allow the pasta to become mushy!
While pasta is draining, pop the butter into the pot to melt.
Return pasta to the pot and add the cheeses. Mix thoroughly until the cheeses have melted - turn the stove on low for a minute or two if you need to kick start the process.
Add the cream, milk, and mustard - mix until the sauce pulls together.
Now salt and pepper to your liking...and don't forget that little dash of your favorite hot sauce!
Serve right away!
Now sometimes, when I'm feelin' fancy...I'll take a small skillet and gently brown a handful of plain Panko crumbs with a tad of salted butter. Sprinkle the crumbs on top of this dish, and you'll feel less guilty that it didn't spend an hour in the oven - ha!
Thanks for the QUICKIE (wink!), I'll see ya next week!