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Stovetop Mac and Cheese

by Laura

Today is the first day of Comfort Week here at Real Mom Kitchen and what a better way to start the week than with Mac and Cheese – gooey, creamy, yummy, cheesy goodness. I decided to try a recipe that I found in the Oct. 2009 issue of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food.
I loved the fact that the recipe is made on the stovetop.  Sometimes the oven versions tend to dry out. I also liked that it only required one type of cheese.  This recipe was simple to make and was delicious.  I did adapt the recipe slightly.  In my opinion, the original recipe was too cheesy, so I ended up adding more cooked pasta.  I also don’t keep whole milk on hand, so I used 1 cup cream and 3 cups of skim milk in it’s place.  Then for fun I used fusilli pasta.
I really think you will love this version.   I think it is my new fav.  I do have some other mac and cheese recipe that are also wonderful if you want to check them out – Pioneer Woman’s Mac and Cheese and Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese.

Stovetop Mac and Cheese

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Coarse salt
  • 4 cups whole milk (I use 1 cup cream 3 cups skim milk)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound small shell pasta or elbow macaroni, uncooked (I used fusilli)
  • 4 cups coarsely grated sharp yellow cheddar (3/4 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium; add onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden, has a slightly nutty aroma, and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.
    2. Whisking constantly, pour in 2 cups milk; add 2 more cups milk and cayenne and whisk until smooth. Cook mixture, stirring constantly along bottom of pan, until boiling, 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and does not feel grainy when a small amount is rubbed between two fingers, about 10 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain thoroughly and return to pot. Remove sauce from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Quickly whisk in cheese, mustard, and Worcestershire. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to coat.


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    24 comments

    Erika December 13, 2010 - 3:16 pm

    VERY yummy. I added half pepper jack cheese and half cheddar for a spicy kick. Problem is that the cheese mixture smothers the noodles a little too much and I had to cook more pasta to even it out. Perhaps baking the dish would add a nice cheesy crust and a better texture–especially with bread crumbs on top.

    Reply
    Erika December 13, 2010 - 3:16 pm

    VERY yummy. I added half pepper jack cheese and half cheddar for a spicy kick. Problem is that the cheese mixture smothers the noodles a little too much and I had to cook more pasta to even it out. Perhaps baking the dish would add a nice cheesy crust and a better texture–especially with bread crumbs on top.

    Reply
    Stella November 29, 2010 - 7:20 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I’m not a big Martha fan, so I wouldn’t have ever tried this out if I hadn’t seen your lovely post and photos! I have been trying to find a way to de-grain my mac and cheese, just turns out I needed to cook it longer! Thanks so much, we just ate the best mac and cheese with our dinner tonight!

    Reply
    Stella November 29, 2010 - 7:20 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I’m not a big Martha fan, so I wouldn’t have ever tried this out if I hadn’t seen your lovely post and photos! I have been trying to find a way to de-grain my mac and cheese, just turns out I needed to cook it longer! Thanks so much, we just ate the best mac and cheese with our dinner tonight!

    Reply
    MrWooloo November 26, 2010 - 7:15 pm

    No, no, no, you have way over-thought this recipe. Go back to basics, when you can make a fine macaroni & cheese out of water, noodles, and cheese in a single pot, then you are ready to elaborate.

    Reply
    MrWooloo November 26, 2010 - 7:15 pm

    No, no, no, you have way over-thought this recipe. Go back to basics, when you can make a fine macaroni & cheese out of water, noodles, and cheese in a single pot, then you are ready to elaborate.

    Reply
    Sarah Treu November 15, 2010 - 11:59 pm

    Mmmm. Mac and Cheese is always a winner with my kids! Looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing! 😉

    Reply
    Sarah Treu November 15, 2010 - 11:59 pm

    Mmmm. Mac and Cheese is always a winner with my kids! Looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing! 😉

    Reply
    Taylor November 15, 2010 - 9:31 pm

    This looks SO GOOD! I made a baked mac ‘n cheese recently and it came out tasty, but too custardy. I have been craving creamy mac ‘n cheese and this looks absolutely perfect 🙂

    Reply
    Taylor November 15, 2010 - 9:31 pm

    This looks SO GOOD! I made a baked mac ‘n cheese recently and it came out tasty, but too custardy. I have been craving creamy mac ‘n cheese and this looks absolutely perfect 🙂

    Reply
    SnoWhite November 15, 2010 - 8:24 pm

    what a fun combo of flavors — it does look delicious.

    Reply
    SnoWhite November 15, 2010 - 8:24 pm

    what a fun combo of flavors — it does look delicious.

    Reply
    Georgie Fear November 15, 2010 - 8:12 pm

    I agree with the others, that looks fabulously creamy, smooth, and yummy! I want to dive in!
    Do you notice the onion in there after its cooked?

    Reply
    Georgie Fear November 15, 2010 - 8:12 pm

    I agree with the others, that looks fabulously creamy, smooth, and yummy! I want to dive in!
    Do you notice the onion in there after its cooked?

    Reply
    Deborah November 15, 2010 - 3:02 pm

    Yay for comfort food! Mac and cheese is definitely a wonderful comfort food. And my daughter’s favorite!

    Reply
    Deborah November 15, 2010 - 3:02 pm

    Yay for comfort food! Mac and cheese is definitely a wonderful comfort food. And my daughter’s favorite!

    Reply
    Jenny November 15, 2010 - 11:15 am

    How do you keep your cheese sauce from getting that “grainy” texture? Is it the kind of cheese? What brand is the best?

    Reply
    Jenny November 15, 2010 - 11:15 am

    How do you keep your cheese sauce from getting that “grainy” texture? Is it the kind of cheese? What brand is the best?

    Reply
    Dinetonite November 15, 2010 - 9:35 am

    this looks absolutely incredible, wow!

    Reply
    Dinetonite November 15, 2010 - 9:35 am

    this looks absolutely incredible, wow!

    Reply
    Tina @ Mommy's Kitchen November 15, 2010 - 8:34 am

    Laura I am always looking for a good creamy mac and cheese recipe. This one looks really good.

    Reply
    Tina @ Mommy's Kitchen November 15, 2010 - 8:34 am

    Laura I am always looking for a good creamy mac and cheese recipe. This one looks really good.

    Reply
    Kim @ Quit Eating Out {Recipes to Make Dining Out A Choice, Not A Chore} November 15, 2010 - 7:54 am

    My kids and I are HUGE mac ‘n cheese fans and always looking to try new recipes. This sounds so great and a perfect weeknight choice. Love the pasta you used! Have a super start to your week and thanks for the great recipe…

    Reply
    Kim @ Quit Eating Out {Recipes to Make Dining Out A Choice, Not A Chore} November 15, 2010 - 7:54 am

    My kids and I are HUGE mac ‘n cheese fans and always looking to try new recipes. This sounds so great and a perfect weeknight choice. Love the pasta you used! Have a super start to your week and thanks for the great recipe…

    Reply

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