If you need a last-minute dish to bring to a barbecue or holiday get-together, here's a simple but really delicious side that will please everyone.
I have made this recipe more than a few times, and I tried it once as a gluten-free dish by using Ancient Harvest Quinoa Elbow Pasta. I haven't been diagnosed as being allergic to gluten, but Mr. DG seems to feel better without it in his diet, so I gave the quinoa macaroni a try. The texture is pretty close to wheat-based pasta when eaten fresh, but upon reheating, the macaroni became a little unpleasant to chew. It was a bit off-putting for me.
The recipe is by Alton Brown, and every time I've made this, I've gotten rave reviews. If your macaroni isn't completely devoured in the first sitting, then reheat gently on the next go around. If you reheat it too vigorously, the sauce loses its creamy texture. I think the eggs in the sauce curdle if you aren't careful. The most time-consuming part of the recipe is grating the cheese. Other than that, everything is a snap!
One last tip is to use good quality, extra-sharp cheddar for this dish. And, please, grate your own cheese by hand or food processor. Don't use pre-grated cheese!
I recommend doubling the recipe.
Gather your ingredients first. Don't skimp on the hot sauce, in fact, add more than you think you'll need. I like using white pepper instead of black because you don't get dark flecks in the dish. I also like the different heat from the white pepper versus black.
One tip I read online said to mix the powdered mustard into the eggs first until well incorporated before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Combine well until there are no lumps in the mixture. Set aside until ready to use.
Cook the macaroni until al dente, drain and return the pasta to the pot. Melt the butter into the pasta.
Pour in the egg mixture, then add grated cheese to macaroni. Stir until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
Heat through gently, being careful not to overcook the sauce.
Enjoy the mac 'n' cheese and the many compliments you'll receive!
Here is the recipe adapted from Alton Brown.
Stove Top Mac-n-Cheese
Prep Time:10 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Serves: 6 to 8 servings (if you eat like a bird)
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
6 ounces evaporated milk
15 dashes hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
8 - 10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.
By the way, this would be a great side to serve along with Mexican "Grilled" Corn!
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!