When I was little, my favorite meal was Kraft macaroni and cheese with slices of Ball Park hot dogs stirred in. Although I haven't had this dinner in years, I remember it fondly and sometimes find myself craving a bowl of creamy stove-top mac and cheese. I considered giving the old package a try, but the thought of powdered cheese made me cringe. That's why I decided to make my own version of Kraft's classic mac.
Surprisingly, it's very quick and easy to put together, and the resulting dish is comforting and nostalgic yet a little bit higher-brow. To ensure a smooth, rich texture, I combined Velveeta — what can I say, it's a guilty pleasure! — with a good-quality, extrasharp cheddar. The mixture works wonderfully, and from now on instead of reaching for a box, I'll reach for this recipe.
Photos: Nicole Perry
3 cups macaroni
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 3/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) grated extrasharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces Velveeta, diced
Scant 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Scant 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the macaroni according to the directions on the label or until al dente. Drain.
- In the same saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk. Cook, whisking until the mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Turn the heat to low, and add the cheddar and Velveeta in handfuls, whisking to melt. Stir until all the cheese is combined, and season with the mustard, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Add the cooked pasta, and stir well to coat all of the pasta with the sauce. Enjoy immediately.
- Side Dishes, Pasta/Noodle
- Serves 4