Friday, October 10, 2014

One-Pot, One-Cheese, Easy-Peasy Stovetop Mac 'n Cheesy

I love cheese.

So when a cheese company called Rumiano contacted me and asked if I wanted some cheese for myself and for a giveaway, I was all over it. (note: giveaway is now over.)

I'd tried their cheeses when they first came on the market, but since they were only locally available at Whole Foods at that time I didn't buy them very often.

Now, they're available at other stores, and I found a much larger variety than when they first came out.

I ended up buying (with coupons supplied be the company) mozzarella, Havarti, mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, and Colby. There were a few others there as well - a pepper jack and medium cheddar and  ... hmmm ... I don't recall if there was another one or not. In any case, I got a good selection.

That's 2 1/2 pounds of cheese, if you're wondering. Each package was 8 ounces. They're all GMO-free, which is what the company is promoting this month.

Me, I'm promoting cheese. Delicious cheese.

I've been on mac and cheese kick lately, and I've tried quiet a few recipes I've found in books and online. But this time, I decided it needed to be me, the cheese, the stove, and just one pot. None of this noodle-cooking in one pot, and sauce-making in another. Nuh uh, this was going to be a one-pot meal.

Okay, I used some spoons and stuff.

One-Pot, One-Cheese Mac 'n Cheese

8 ounces uncooked pasta (I like elbows, but use whatever you like)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup milk (more, if desired)
8 ounces Rumiano Havarti* cheese
Salt and white pepper, to taste

Get a pot of water boiling in anticipating of cooking the noodles. Add a teaspoon or so of salt. When the water is boiling, add the noodles, give them a stir, and cook until al dente.

While the noodles are cooking assemble the rest of the ingredients. To make cheese-melting more efficient, grate or shred the cheese. Or cut it into thin slices or small chunks, or tiny bits.

*Or any other willingly-meltable cheese that you like. I considered using one of the cheddars, but that's traditional, so I used the Havarti instead.

When the noodles are cooked drain the water out, leaving the pasta in the pot. Add the butter and stir it around with the pasta, then turn the heat to medium. When the butter is melted, add the flour and paprika. Stir.

Cook for a minute or so, stirring, and then add the milk. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Begin adding the cheese by the hand full, stirring to get it melted into the sauce. Add another hand full when the previous one is almost all melted.

When the cheese is incorporated, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if desired. I suggest white pepper for the color, but if you prefer black, that's fine. If you prefer a saucier cheese, add more milk until you reach the consistency you like.

Serve hot.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.