Throwback Tuesdays – Instant v. Slow

I love instant noodles of all kinds….

Instant mac and cheese, we don’t really eat it because we think it’s delicious, it’s easy and for the time you invest it’s good! I’ll do it from time to time but we eat these things more out of convenience than taste. The only exception I can think of is haet ban. The Korean instant rice things, I don’t know what they do to that rice but it’s so good (I digress).

Good foods often take a lot more time than their instant counterparts. Just like people. Relationships that are reinforced with time and energy are often better than “instant” ones. I have a lot of “instant” friends, we could get a beer, we could have dinner, go dancing, but I wouldn’t share my life with them. The relationships that go deep are ones gilded with lots of time, energy and are often costly. They are and should be my favorites.

To prove the point here is my Mac and cheese recipe. It’s expensive, it takes a long time to make and there is so much fat that it’ll stick with you for a while.

1 stick of butter (doesn’t matter salted or unsalted…)
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1/2 lb. of cheddar cheese (sharp) Shredded
8 oz. of Velveeta spread
2.5 tablespoon flour
¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder
salt & pepper

noodles.. Whatever kind you want, try to get stuff with lots of curls and maybe ridges on the outside… get more sauce

1. On low heat melt all the butter then sprinkle in flour and cook for a minute or so
2. Stir in cream (stir like crazy!), make sure you don’t get any lumps
3. Get the Velveeta, melted in
4 Get the cheese melted, save 25% of the cheese
5. Sprinkle in mustard. Salt and pepper to taste (make it a little saltier than you want it since you aren’t going to season your noodles).
6. While making the sauce cook the pasta.  Cook it till it’s just a little undercooked…
7. Stir in pasta
8. Transfer to baking dish.
9. Top off with the remaining cheese
10. Place in oven (375F) till it’s golden (~30 minutes)

VOILA!
Tips:
Don’t microwave leftovers! This is a béchamel-type sauce, if you microwave it the sauce will separate into oil and milk solids… so heat it back up in the oven. This doesn’t happen with the stuff from a box because a really smart food scientist did their magic…  Before placing in the oven the mac and cheese should look runny, if it isn’t add more cream, it needs to be runny or the final product will be too dry.

You can switch out for different types of milk. Just realize that the less fat the milk has the thinner the cheese sauce. So do one of two things to keep the consistency of the sauce, back off on the total amount of milk you use or make more of the butter/flour (which is called a roux) combo.

Oh yea, and don’t cook the roux too much, melt the butter slow on a low heat and cook the flour for a while, but don’t let it get brown. If it’s not cooked enough you’ll get a gross raw flour taste but if it gets to brown you’ll get some weird brown notes that aren’t indicative of a good mac and cheese.

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