This stove-top macaroni and cheese recipe is the best ever. I’ve made it a lot of different ways, and love this one. It is easy and consistently good.
2 large eggs
1 12-oz (341 ml) can evaporated milk
¼ tsp (1 ml) Tabasco sauce
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
¼ tsp (1 ml) ground black pepper
1 tsp (5 ml) dry mustard, dissolved in 1 tsp (5 ml) water
½ lb (225 g) elbow macaroni
4 tbsp (50 ml) unsalted butter
12 oz (350 g) Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, grated (abt 3 c/750 ml). Use sharp or mild cheddar, as desired
Toasted bread crumbs or crumbled saltine crackers* (optional)
1. Mix eggs, 1 cup (250 ml) evaporated milk, Tabasco sauce, ½ tsp (2ml) salt, pepper and dry mustard in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 qt (2 L) water to boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Add remaining 1½ tsp (7 ml) salt and the macaroni; cook until almost tender but still a little firm to the bite.
3. Drain and return the macaroni to the pan over low heat, add butter and toss to melt.
4. Pour the egg mixture over the buttered noodles along with three-quarters of the cheese; stir until thoroughly combined and cheese starts to melt.
5. Gradually add remaining evaporated milk and cheese, stirring constantly, until mixture is hot and creamy, about 5 minutes.
6. Serve immediately, topped with toasted bread crumbs or crumbled crackers.
Macaroni and Cheese Styles
“There are two styles of macaroni and cheese. One combines macaroni with a cheese-flavoured white sauce… The other is layered macaroni and cheese topped with a milk or milk-and-egg mixture that forms a custard when the combination is baked.
The food staff at Cook’s Illustrated magazine found a third style of macaroni and cheese preparation, which they credited to John Thorne’s Simple Cooking cookbook. [This recipe.] The recipe testers at Cook’s Illustrated described Thorne’s recipe and their adaptations in the January-February 1997 issue and rated it the best macaroni and cheese recipe they tested.”
Reading a Kirkus review of Simple Cooking, John Thorne’s books sound worth reading as much for his commentary on food and foodie trends as for the cookery information and recipes.