If you are like me then there is really nothing better than Mac & Cheese. It is a staple, since I almost always have the Mac & Cheese essentials on hand at any given time. The best part is that there are very few ingredients needed and it is so adaptable to what you have available.
The essentials -These are the only things needed to make the most basic (and delicious) Mac & Cheese.
- Noodles – some kind that will hold the cheese sauce well (elbow, penne, shells, bowtie, rotini, etc…)
- Salt & Pepper
Now if you are like me and want to spruce it up a little bit here are some additional ingredients you can add:
- Crispy chicken or crispy cauliflower
- Pickled Vegetables – red onion or jalapeños
- Buffalo sauce
- Horseradish or any kind of mustard
Now for the most important part – making the Mac & Cheese!
- Melt about a tablespoon or two of butter in a pot. Once the butter is melted add two to three tablespoons of flour (the more flour the thicker the sauce). Stir butter and flour together, until it is a paste, add more butter or flour if needed. Mix over low heat until mixture is a light brown. Add about two cups of milk and stir. Keep over low heat mixing occasionally until the mixture starts to thicken.
- While the mixture is thickening, cut up your cheese. I use any cheese that needs to be used up in my fridge. It is normally a combination of cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, and colby jack – use what every you have available. I start with about a cup of this cubed or shredded cheese added to the mixture on the stove. Let everything get all melty and taste. Does it need anything? Add based on your taste preferences, salt, pepper, or more cheese.
- If your sauce is too thick, add some more milk. If it’s to thin, add a spoonful of flour and stir in well.
- Now if you want some extra flavor, put one squeeze in of horseradish or mustard. Stir it up and taste it again, does it need more salt, pepper, cheese, or horseradish/mustard? Add if needed.
- Want a little more kick – add a splash of buffalo sauce.
- Once everything is all melted together and everything tastes to your liking, mix in with your pasta of choice. Season with salt and pepper again if needed!
- Top with crispy chicken, crispy cauliflower, pickled veggies, buffalo sauce, and ranch (or any combination of).
Let me know if you made any combination of this or if you have any other suggestions for more toppings or changes!
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