You may not know this about me, but I like to cook. I’m actually, pretty good, too.
A few years ago, I decided to start making mac-n-cheese from scratch. I found a couple of really good recipes and worked it until I’d made a dish of cheesy mac with which I was happy. I started with this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. The adults loved it, but the kids wouldn’t touch it with their eating utensils. (They wanted the fake-y orange of blue box Kraft).
Well, you see, white cheeses melt smoother than the yellow ones, so I wasn’t about to compromise on the color, but what I did do was halve the amount of white cheddar and make up the difference with white American. HOOO-BOY! It’s so good!
But it is very labor intensive. Bring milk to a boil. That, in and of itself, takes time because too high a temperature, and you scorch the milk. Once it’s boiling, you add the cream cheese that has been cut up into little cubes (cutting cream cheese is no picnic, folks). Freeze it a little you say? Well, you really want it almost room temp so that you don’t lose the boil on your milk too much. Oh, and about that, you add the cream cheese a little at a time until it’s fully melted and then add more to, you guessed it, avoid lowering the temp of the milk too much.
Once all the cream cheese is incorporated, you add the grated cheddar/american, again, a little at a time to preserve that milk temp. This takes a little longer. All the while you must be stir-stir-stirring! Once the cheese sauce is done, you stir in the already cooked noodles before dumping the entire concoction into a casserole dish and put it in the oven for 25 minutes. Then, adding the buttered breadcrumbs before cooking it five minutes more (or however long it takes to brown the crumbs).
Well, it’s a lot, and it makes big dinners like Thanksgiving and Christmas veritable scheduling nightmares. BUT about a year ago, maybe less, a recipe came into my possession for crockpot cheesy mac. I studied the recipe and decided to go for it. I began substituting my own ingredients for the ones on this new, anonymous recipe. And VOILA!
Now, the very involved mac-n-cheese is prettier, but this is JUST THE SAME taste wise. I can’t believe how great it is with so much less effort.
You should try it.
You’ll thank me.
Here it is, my recipe:
T’s Cheesy Mac
Either spray the inside of your crockpot with non-stick spray, butter it, or line it with a crockpot liner. Then mix in your crockpot–
>> One can Evaporated Milk (12 oz)
>> 2 large eggs (beaten)
>> 1.5 cups whole milk
>> 1/4 cup butter (melted)
>> 8 oz cream cheese (pinched up)
>> 8 oz white cheddar cheese (grated)
>> 8 oz white american cheese (grated)
>> 8 0z elbow macaroni (uncooked)
>> 1 tsp salt
>> dash of pepper
Cook on low for 2 hours and 45 minutes. I recommend stirring every 20 minutes or so, to keep the noodles from burning to the side. Yes, this has happened to me. Test a noodle at the end of the time and add 15 minutes if they aren’t quite done (mainly because slow cookers vary).
And there you have it! Super easy. Super tasty. Let me know if you make it. Let me know how you like it.