Tag Archives: pasta

Macaroni and Cheese

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.

stove-top macaroni and cheese cookingMakes 4 main-course servings or 6-8 side-dish servings (If you really like mac & cheese, you’ll want this amount for two people so you can have seconds)

Ingredients

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 (bat 3 c/750 ml). Use sharp or mild cheddar, as desired
Toasted bread crumbs or crumbled saltine crackers* (optional, to me)

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

macaroni and cheese served with peasI got this recipe several years ago from a London Free Press AP article written by Tommy C. Simmons. He says about the different ways of making mac & cheese:

“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.

 

DIY Kraft Dinner

kd with elbow macaroniKD – Kraft Dinner – is the ultimate comfort food/fast food, especially for Canadians (says Wikipedia) who have grown up on it since it came on the market in the 1930s. A lot of people take pride in “doctoring” it, using it as the base for their culinary skills. But for me, it’s best just as it comes out of the box, with ketchup on top.

Macaroni variations

But Kraft changed the macaroni from the regular elbow type to thin tubes. To me, two kinds of macaronithey always seem overcooked and they have no texture, no body. It’s like eating orange pablum. KD became a constant disappointment to me, despite always being hopeful that a new type they brought out would be how I remember it. (KD macaroni left in photo, elbow macaroni right)

Kraft Dinner boxes Then, in Bulk Barn one day, passing the bin of bright orange cheese sauce powder, I had a thrilling thought. Maybe I could make my own.

I had recently read that Kraft Dinner was born when, in 1937, a Kraft salesman put a rubber band around a packet of grated cheese and a box of macaroni and sold them together as an instant meal. Why couldn’t I retrace his steps? Treating them as separate components lets me pick the macaroni I want.

Bulk Barn cheese powderBulk Barn has instructions for its Macaroni and Cheese Sauce Mix #252 beside the bin. The amounts of cheese powder and macaroni called for is exactly the same as what is in a box of KD. You make it exactly the same way. And it tastes exactly the same, only with nice fat elbow macaroni. You can, of course, use any pasta you wish.

Amazon link for Jamie Oliver Comfort FoodJamie Oliver’s cookbook Comfort Food shows you how you can make tastier and healthier versions of your favourite foods. He probably has a delicious mac and cheese. But when you want Kraft Dinner, that’s what you want. Bulk Barn allows me to make it look and taste the way it does in my memory.

Corned Beef Macaroni

A ‘how we think it was made’ recipe for corned beef and macaroni that my grandmother Burwell cooked. It should look like a stew or thick soup. Grandma said it was Pennsylvania Dutch in origin, as was she, and it was something her mother made.  I learned how she made it from my niece via Facebook messages.

Chat_bubbleAre you there?

Hi – I am now.

I was making Gramma’s corned beef pasta stuff and couldn’t remember if potatoes went in! All is well, it turned out 🙂

ok good. You’ll have to tell me how you make it. I don’t know how. Your dad and I have talked about it but can’t remember. We thought potatoes were in it.

Yes that was my question – potatoes or not! I added small cubes and onion. Dad doesn’t think there was onion but I’m sure there was!! He thought there was cubed cheese too but I don’t think so. lol

Ha! I don’t think there was onion, but I would put it in. No, I don’t think cheese, but that would be good. I don’t know how she creamed it – flour and water? I don’t remember mom or grandma using milk or cream. I’d use milk. When I made it, it wasn’t like hers. It was kind of like cream of macaroni soup. lol

eating macaroniNo cream or milk! Cook your potatoes and the potato water thickens with the macaroni. So yummy! 🙂 Now you must remember. I was about 4 when I cooked this with great-grandma!!

Well, I never! (as Grandma B would say). No wonder it didn’t taste right. Can you send me what you did, including the kind of corned beef.

Corned Beef Macaroni Recipe

corned beef and macaroni* 4 cups water, to boil
* Add 2 potatoes cut in small cubes and 1 small onion diced.
* Add 1 can of corned beef ( I just used no name – looks like spam)
* Let boil another 4 min.
* Add 2 cups of elbow macaroni. You may need to keep adding water as the noodles cook but don’t make it too watery. Stir often because noodles will stick.
* Add salt after cooking as the beef is salty!! Yum yum, the kids even enjoyed it!

corned beef canYou mean the rectangular cans of corned beef? Do you just plonk the whole lump in or chop it up first?

LOL sorry, yes, the rectangle one. I break it up first but it usually falls apart after a while in the broth 🙂

So, there is the recipe for our favourite meal at Grandma Burwell’s house.  I don’t remember my mother making it and, although I knew it was simple, I could not replicate it.  All this time, my niece could. Fortunately she had a memory lapse so I found out how.  Grandma, I think, would snicker and say “Land o’ Goshen!” if she knew we were doing this.

Tomato Macaroni

Tomato macaroni in bowlThis is essentially homemade Beefaroni.  When I was a kid, this was what I liked best that Mom made. It was a treat! I had no idea how easy it was to do.

I’ve recreated this recipe based on what Mom told me: “you cook macaroni and hamburg and pour in tomato juice and heat it.”  Okay! Mine has never tasted as good as Mom’s, so I’m still missing something – maybe just her touch with it. Anyway, this is getting pretty close.

These amounts make a large potful – maybe 6-8 servings. You can half or double it.

My Mom’s Tomato Macaroni

Cook 2 cups macaroni in salted water (undercook slightly).  Drain and return to pot.

Cooked ground beef added to cooked macaroniBrown 1 lb ground beef with or without chopped onions.  Put cooked beef in pot with macaroni, over med. to low heat.

Add tomato juice.  Stir, adding juice until proportions appear balanced (2/3 to 3/4 of a large can).  Add a can of tomato soup and mix in.  That gives the sauce a thicker consistency to coat the macaroni.

Tomato macaroni in pot, cookedIf you want your veggies right in the bowl, add frozen peas or green beans. Mom never did that, but it’s good.

Add a few drops of Worchestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste.  You can add a bit of hot sauce if you want a bit of zing.

Cook until heated through, maybe 20-30 minutes.  You don’t want to overcook or the macaroni will go mushy.

Serve.  Parmesan cheese can be sprinkled on top.