When most people hear "home-made macaroni and cheese" they think of a breaded casserole that you eat with ketchup or something. This is like legit macaroni and cheese in a pot like you'd get in a box. Only better because it isn't made with powdered cheese curds or whatever, and you can make it from what you have on hand.
It took me a couple of tries to get this recipe to be really good. The first time it was incredibly bitter and not very creamy. Also, when I did this, I wasn't really measuring, I was just going by proportions, so hopefully you will still be able to follow.
In my research (during which I became quite familiarly acquainted with Paula Dean's personality during a side track) I learned that you must have an appropriate amount of cream in order for the cheese to bond and not clump. Or somesuch. That is why most mac and cheese recipes require cream. However! I don't keep cream on hand. It also supposedly turns out better if you use two to four different types of cheeses. But all we have is medium cheddar. So there are a lot of other options for making this kind of macaroni and cheese if you go buy different ingredients (or maybe you regularly stock your fridge with cream and three types of cheese), but this recipe is mostly to make it with what you have on hand and make it taste delicious! Now, read on, MacDuff!
from THE MIND OF ME
serves about 1-2 people
1 cup or however much pasta you are making (I like elbows chiffere, the ridges catch more sauce)
1/4-1/2 cup stick butter or margarine (depending on how buttery you want it...I like it buttery)
1/2 cup milk (keep more on hand in case you need it later)
1/2-1 cup cheese of choice (if you use a milder or white cheese, you might want to supplement with a little of something sharper)
fresh ground black pepper
sweet basil (dried/flaked/whatever...in your spice cupboard)
1. Boil and drain the pasta and return it to the pot on low-medium heat.
2. Add the butter and stir around until pasta is coated.
3. Add the milk.
4. Add the cheese. Make sure the heat is up enough to melt the cheese relatively quickly (turn it up if you have to, I don't remember how hot I had it in the end). Stir the cheese into pasta slowly, making sure it melts and doesn't clump. If you need to, add a little more milk, or if you want, more cheese.
5. Grind in a bit of pepper. Don't add too much! The cheese will already be a little bitter and you don't want to overdo it. Stir again, keeping an eye on the cheese and making sure it has melted properly.
6. Add a little basil, to taste. The mildly sweet herb will help to offset a bit of the bitterness.