I live with a Mac and Cheese purist. Let me clarify, a Kraft Mac and Cheese, blue box, “it’s the cheesiest”, purist.
Easy Mac? Not the same. Velveeta Shells and Cheese? Not bad, but not mac and cheese (“That is why they call it shells and cheese”). Home made? Hmmmmm…..
Note the multi pack.
My 17 year old was raised on the food of the children of the 90’s, chicken nuggets and blue box mac and cheese. When he was six, my mom came to visit and decided to make him home-made mac and cheese. He became excited when she told him that mac and cheese was for dinner. When meal time came and the macaroni was actually normal sized and yellow (versus tiny and orange) he did not hesitate to show his displeasure. Mom still talks about it to this day.
In the past I had suggested making home-made mac and cheese and even tried to convince him by suggesting that I would put bacon in it. Even though he considers bacon in its own special food group at the top of the pyramid, it was not enough to sway him for a desire for the blue box instead.
As the critic was away for lunch one day, I jumped at the chance to make it for the rest of us.
The recipe calls for Ritz crackers, but as I had corn flake crumbs, I used those instead. They were great.
While the recipe does not call it such, you start by making a roux (butter, flour, heat and mixing).
Mix in the noodles (I added bacon bits here too)
Cheddar on top.
Just out of the oven with the corn flake crumb topping.
Down-Home Macaroni & Cheese
Prep Time: 25 min | Cook Time: 45 min | Servings: 5 servings, 1 cup each | Difficulty: Medium
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, divided
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) VELVEETA®, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked
- 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 6 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1/4 cup)
1. HEAT oven to 350°F.
2. MELT 3 Tbsp. butter in medium saucepan on medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook 2 min., stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to boil; cook and stir 3 to 5 min. or until thickened. Add VELVEETA; cook 3 min. or until melted, stirring frequently. Stir in macaroni.
3. SPOON into 2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; sprinkle with Cheddar. Melt remaining butter; toss with cracker crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole.
4. BAKE 20 min. or until heated through.