There are three majors factors that I find important when it comes to making
mac & cheese. The first is texture, the second is fat, and the third is
time. Of course, anything full fat it better… but if you could shave off
some fat and calories without anyone noticing… wouldn’t you?
When it comes to the texture, I believe it all starts with the roux. How you
make it, whether or not you even use it! I don’t mind taking the time to
make a roux. The fact is, I can never get the texture just right. When
making mac & cheese, I always feel that the cheese sauce comes out on the
gritty side. Not overly intensely gritty… just gritty enough to make it not
When considering the fat content, I think of the butter first. Do we really
need it? The answer is no. One tablespoon of butter is 102 calories and
11.52 grams of fat! We would be using two tablespoons of butter to make a
usual roux for a mac & cheese recipe. By eliminating the need for butter, we
are automatically cutting off 204 calories and 23.04 grams of fat. Not bad,
The third factor, time… is a big one for a lot of people. Baked Mac &
Cheese is a marvelous thing… but not every family has the kind of time
necessary to prep and cook a baked mac & cheese. Mac & cheese can be just as
delicious cooked and served directly from the stovetop. I won’t lie… I
like stovetop mac & cheese better.
To overcome these three major factors concerning the creation of a
magnificent mac & cheese I made the following recipe.
1 lb. elbow macaroni (uncooked)
1.5 cups 2% milk (divided)
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2-2.5 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or your choice)
1 tsp dried mustard powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions… leaving it on the al dente
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 cup of the milk to steaming. In a
bowl combine the remaining 1/2 cup of milk with the flour and whisk to
combine. When the milk is steaming, whisk in the milk/flour mixture and cook
Once thickened, reduce temp to low and begin adding the cheese mixing as you
go. Stir in spices and continue to stir until the cheese mixture is smooth
Add your cooked pasta to the cheese mixture, combine, and serve directly
from the stovetop.
I really enjoyed this recipe. It still wasn’t as creamy as I wanted it to be… but it was a lot creamier then when starting from a roux. I didn’t miss the butter… and next time I think I will use two types of cheese to add a little more flavor. Overall, it was a hit – so I’m sharing it with you.
If you try this recipe or have an even better one to share, please post below or feel free to contact me via my contact page.