Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Lite Mac and Cheese | ATK

Fuckety fuck fuck fuck, it is cold out. Arctic. Ass Biting, Cold. Stay under the covers because all the air not under the covers is flipping freezing, cold. Throw your bath towel in the dryer while your in the shower, so you can wrap a hot towel around your wet body, cold. Numb fingertips in a matter of minutes, cold.

Old man winter has a stick up his ass today, with his freezing cold temperatures, and his wind chill, and his horrible frozen sidewalks which when I try to navigate, make me look like a new born deer trying to stand on my legs for the first time, slipping and sliding all over the place praying I don't fall ass over tea kettle all over the place, which I am known to do. Cold.

Nothing warms up the insides like a nice steaming bowl of mac and cheese. Is it not one of the great comfort foods? I think it is. This recipe came from the Best of America's Test Kitchen 2007 cookbook, and without fail is another amazing and simple recipe.

Lite Macaroni and Cheese
1/2 pound elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
1 (12-ounce) can reduced fat evaporated milk
3/4 C 2% milk (I used plain low fat soy milk)
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp garlic powder or celery salt (I used garlic powder) (optional)
Pinch cayenne pepper (I used chili powder)
2 tsp cornstarch
8 ounces 50% light cheddar cheese, grated (ATK recommended and I used the Cabot 50% cheese. ATK also recommends that you grate your own cheese, and not buy pregrated cheese for better melting)

1. Bring 2 1/2 quarts water to a boil in a large saucepan for the pasta. Add 2 tsp salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is completely cooked and tender. Drain the pasta and leave it in the colander; set aside.

2. Add the evaporated milk, 1/2 c of the 2% milk, mustard, garlic powder (if using), cayenne, and 1/2 tsp salt to the now empty saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Whisk the cornstarch and remaining 1/4 c milk together, then mix it into the simmering mixture. Continue to simmer, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened and is smooth, about 2 minutes.

3. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cheddar until melted and smooth. Stir in the macaroni, and let the macaroni and cheese sit off the heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, 2 to 5 minutes before serving.

(At this point I poured the macaroni and cheese into a glass baking dish, topped with a few breadcrumbs and baked in a 375 degree oven for ten minutes. The recipe didn't call for this, however I like to have a crunchy topping to my mac and cheese, and adding the dry bread crumbs didn't add that much calories to the lite meal.)

Rating = So Damn Good


Pam said...

Oh wow, that sounds (and looks) so perfect for this week.

By the way, there's an American Test Kitchen book signing thing next Tuesday at their headquarters in Brookline...

Patricia Scarpin said...

This sure looks comforting, JB - I love the idea of adding breadcrumbs, crunchy food is always a winner!

Laura said...

Learning to walk for the first time like a newborn deer! Your too much.By the way your blog looks great, are you gong to have a picture of the gingerbead house you guys made this weekend hmmmm?

D said...

I'm so glad i live in sunny california where there's no such thing as winter (unless you live in the hills)

Anonymous said...

It's a shame you don't have enough command of the English language to express yourself without expletives.

JB said...

And its a shame that you hide behind the veil of anonymity in order to post your comment. I am in awe of your ability to cast judgement while remaining anonymous. You, you are a stand up person. Here's an idea, if you don't like my blog, if you can't handle a few curse words, don't read it.