Today has been a rather lackluster day. Migraines, cramps, and plenty of thunder down under. Sorry a bit TMI, but you ladies understand what I mean.
I have been craving macaroni and cheese for a few days now and I just had time to make something I wanted for myself after being so busy the whole weekend (other than my friend’s birthday party on Saturday…celebrated my parents’ 28th anniversary on Sunday too). I decided to make my own version of a simple mac & cheese, sans boxed version you would find in every supermarket. I just had to make my own version from scratch.
I originally wanted to put in Gruyere cheese instead of Monterey Jack cheese, but I was pretty low on cash as most college students are so I had to sell myself short on many ingredients. For example instead of using smoked paprika, I had sweet paprika which I normally use only for deviled eggs. Also why add “the kitchen sink” into the name? I used so many other ingredients I found around the kitchen sink into the recipe as well. Also you can substitute the bowtie pasta I used for regular elbow macaroni or other shapes…
Mac&Cheese and the Kitchen Sink
adapted from “Traditional Macaroni & Cheese” recipe by http://www.verybestbaking.com
Prep – 15 mins; Cooking: 20 mins; Yield – 6-8 servings, depending on how large the serving size
1 bag (12 oz) of bowtie pasta, cooked and drained
2 tbsp cornstarch (mix with 1-2tbsp of water until dissolved)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 can (12 fl. oz) evaporated milk
1 cup water
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups (80z) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (divided if baking this dish)
optional: handful of store-bought croutons, crushed, for garnishing
1. Combine evaporated milk, water, butter, and sour cream in a medium saucepan. Add cornstarch mix, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper, and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil.
2. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese (reserve 1/2 cup cheese if baking) until melted.
3. Pour cheese mixture over cooked pasta and toss.
4. Garnish (optional) with a few sprinkles of paprika and crushed croutons. Serve and eat while warm.
If baking, after you have added in 1 1/2 cup of cheese to melt in the mixture, pour over pasta and mix well. Pour into a greased casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Add panko bread crumbs (or crushed croutons if you don’t have any on hand) on top. Bake for 20-25mins, at 375 degrees F, or until cheese is melted and light brown. Sprinkle with a little bit of paprika on top for added color.
The cayenne comes out as an undertone in the dish as when you bite into the pasta you first taste all of the cheese. Then the slight spicyness comes from underneath to give a little kick.
Sorry the picture was not as great as it is with my cell phone camera. However, I hope you enjoy this recipe and happy eatings! 🙂