How to Make Mac and Cheese

How to Make Mac and Cheese

    Mac and cheese is such a great, comforting dish, fitting for a lousy, rainy day, AND for a beautiful, happy day. It works during winter and it’s superb during summer. Is there any occasion when it isn’t right? Not really, we think. The only counterargument is this: don’t get it ready made from the store. Learn how to make mac and cheese on your own, for the greatest results.

    I scoff in the face of processed foods like ready-made mac and cheese when the results show that the texture is all wrong and the flavor is not that diverse and layered. Why settle for something inferior when you can have the real thing? Mac and cheese should be smooth, cheesy, with greatly cooked elbow macaroni (or other macaroni, if that’s what you really want), and with a crunchy outer layer coming from baking. How to make mac and cheese? Read on to find out.

    19 steps to learn how to make mac and cheese

    1. Gather your ingredients

    You will need some elbow macaroni, let’s say a pound, and the same quantity of cheese, let’s say Cheddar because we’re going the classical way here! You will also need about two tablespoons of butter, two tablespoons of flour, some salt and 1.5-2 cups of milk.

    2. Boil water

    Fill a large pot with enough water to cover your macaroni. Bring the water to a boil.

    3. Cook the macaroni

    Add the macaroni to the boiling water and stir.

    4. Reduce the heat on the macaroni

    Bring the heat down to a medium setting.

    5. Cook the macaroni

    Let the macaroni cook until it’s al dente, about 8 minutes, or according to the instructions on the box.

    6. Warm the milk

    Add the milk to a saucepan and warm it up a little over medium heat.

    7. Shred the cheese

    Shred the cheese into small strips and set it aside in a bowl.

    8. Drain macaroni

    Once the macaroni is cooked through, drain it with a sieve and set it aside for the next step.

    9. Melt the butter

    Use a pan or a skillet to melt the butter.

    10. Add the flour

    Sprinkle the flour in the butter gradually, and stir until the mixture reaches a paste-like consistency.

    11. Add the milk

    Whisk the milk in the butter and flour paste and let everything cook until the sauce thickens. It should take about 3-4 minutes and the sauce should have the same thickness as heavy cream.

    12. Preheat the oven

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

    13. Add the cheese

    Add the cheese to the sauce one handful at a time. Whisk so that the cheese melts into the sauce. Continue until you have melted all of the cheese in the sauce.

    14. Season

    Sprinkle about a teaspoon of salt in the sauce. Taste and make sure it’s salty enough for you.

    15. Stir

    Stir the sauce until all the cheese has melted and the mixture is creamy. Then remove the sauce from heat.

    16. Prepare baking dish

    Ready your mac and cheese dish by greasing its interior walls.

    17. Toss sauce with mac

    Blend the sauce in the cooked pasta and add them to the baking dish.

    18. Add the top layer (optional)

    You can add some more grated cheese on top of the dish to create a crunchy outer layer just begging to be pierced by your fork. You can also sprinkle some breadcrumbs or panko, for an extra kick.

    19. Bake

    Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

    Now that you know the basics, improve your mac and cheese with a single ingredient. Also, check out these 5 fresh ideas for better mac and cheese. And if cheese sauces are your everything, find out more about them right here.

    I’m a pop culture nerd who thinks too much about fried bacon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and life, the Universe and everything. I love food and sometimes you can see that on my hips, but I don't care that much about that.
    What I do care more about is trying to eat healthier, even though I admit that I like to indulge in my food fantasies. I’m addicted to puns, so forgive me for that when you read my articles. I now know too much about nutrition to be fun to hang out with. So long and thanks for all the fish-based omega-3 fatty acids.

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