Featured Wisconsin Cheeses: Cheddar, Monterey Jack, American
No one needs to twist my arm to try new macaroni and cheese recipes and this year was no exception. I am typically a big fan of baked macaroni and cheese – the combination of ooey gooey mac and cheese and the crusty pieces on top and around the edges really is phenomenal. That being said, I realized recently that I was still lacking a recipe for a quick stove-top version. Up until this recipe, if I was craving mac & cheese and wasn’t up to putting together a whole baked recipe, I would run to the store for a box of the blue stuff to get my fix (hanging my foodie head in shame). No more!
Much like any other macaroni and cheese recipe, you can customize these cheeses to suit your tastes, but I really like the combination of mild cheeses here. I’ve played around with other cheese varieties in dishes such as Grown Up Mac and Cheese and Mushroom-Herb Macaroni and Cheese, but for this quick stove-top version I stuck with a mix of mild cheeses that created a familiar taste and texture to what most of us grew up eating as kids. When it comes to comfort food, simple is most often best. You could always use all of one cheese if you’d like, or adjust the ratios. Enjoy and be creative!
Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon water
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional 1½ teaspoons for pasta water
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces (2 cups) elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces (about 1 cup) Wisconsin Mild Cheddar Cheese, shredded
4 ounces (about 1 cup) Wisconsin American Cheese, shredded
4 ounces (about 1 cup) Wisconsin Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
In a small cup, dissolve the dry mustard in the water; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, dry mustard mixture, salt and pepper; set aside.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large Dutch oven or pot. Add the pasta and 1½ teaspoons salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Drain the pasta and return to the pot over low heat. Add the butter and stir until completely melted.
Add the egg mixture and three-quarters of the cheese mixture to the pasta and toss until thoroughly combined and the cheese starts to melt. Gradually add the remaining evaporated milk and remaining cheese mixture, stirring constantly, until the mixture is hot and creamy, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
(Recipe adapted from The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook)
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Cheddar, Macaroni & Cheese, Monterey Jack, stovetop, Wisconsin Cheese
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