1 2/3 cups (approximately 7 or 8 oz) of small elbow macaroni
1 3/4 T cornstarch
1/2 t dry mustard
1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper
1 can (12 oz) Evaporated Milk, low fat
1 cup milk, either skim, 1% or 2%
2 T butter
2 cups (about 8 oz) sharp cheddar cheese
Optional: sprinkle the dish with a light touch of paprika
Spoon Mage™ Note:
Get the best block of cheese you can afford. Natural cheddar derived from the milk of grass raised cows ranges from milky white to buttery yellow. Bright orange cheddar has had a vegetable seed derivative added to alter the color. Why? Marketing has shown that this color increases sales, it does not change flavor. It is natural, so don’t fuss it if your family prefers the yellow, go for it.
Do not buy pre-shredded cheese. Cheese quickly loses flavor as it dries once it has been shredded. Shred for freshness!
If you would like cheese that spreads a bit, use 1 1/2 T cornstarch instead of the 1 3/4 T.
If you want All The Cheese! and dump in a great lot more than called for, the result will be a solid mass of pasta and cheese – but it will be delicious.
Now go make it yours – creamy, yellow, well-browned, or solid… or with shells!
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Boil the macaroni per package directions. Drain. Let the cooked macaroni sit in the colander.
Measure the milk and butter. Open the can of Evaporated milk. Shred the cheese. Put the cheese into two bowls – 1 1/2 cups in one bowl and 1/2 cup in the second.
Combine the cornstarch, mustard, and black pepper in a large pot.
Spray cooking spray in a 2 quart casserole dish. Or, if calories are not a problem for you, smear a little bit of softened butter all over the inside of the dish. Don’t use too much or the mac and cheese will be unpleasantly runny with fat.
As the pot warms, slowly add the evaporated milk to the cornstarch mix. Stir well to incorporate.
Add the 2% milk and butter to the evaporated milk mixture.
Do not leave the stove for any reason at all. Stand and Stir. When the mixture comes to a boil, continue to cook and stir for one more minute.
Lower temperature to the lowest setting on your burner and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. This will take less than a minute.
Remove the pot from the stove and add the drained macaroni, stir well.
Pour the cheesy macaroni into the prepared casserole dish and top with the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese. If you wish to make fancy mac and cheese, sprinkle the whole with paprika.
Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese melts and the top just begins to brown.