Get Comfortable with the BEST Comfort Food Ever! Mac ‘n Cheese
We’ve talked in previous blogs about pizza and one of our favourites blogs was how to elevate your grilled cheese game. Now it seems only right that the next topic we tackle is everyone’s favourite comfort food – Mac ‘n Cheese! Seriously though – what’s not to love about this classic dish that some people consider one of Canada’s “National” foods? If you’re not already comfortable with the BEST comfort food ever, it’s time Fromage showed you how to do it right! We just celebrated National Mac ‘n Cheese Day recently so it just seems fitting to “think outside the box” about the greatest comfort food ever.
Why is Mac ‘n Cheese so good? Think about it. It is quite simply one of the most versatile foods on the planet. It can be eaten hot or cold, you can add just about anything you want to it, you can take the lazy way out and use a box (but we’re gonna share why you shouldn’t – unless you’re in college that is!) and it’s affordable! As well, this dish is simple to make and simple to elevate to “next level” cooking with just a few quick and easy tips that will bring back memories of home and childhood, but better! It’s even a perfect on the road meal because all you need is one cooking pot, three or four ingredients and a wooden spoon for stirring so go ahead and make this even on your next family camping adventure. Perhaps the pasta and cheesy gooeyness of this dish might even have been one of the first things you made for your partner in life or it’s your “Go To” family meal on a Monday night. In fact, if it isn’t – join us in helping to make this a thing - #Mac&CheeseMondays!
Here’s the simplest way to get in the game when it comes to Mac ‘n Cheese. You’ll need:
- About ¼ cup of butter, salted or unsalted
- A dash or two of salt
- About a ¼ cup of flour, to make a “rue”
- 16 ounces of milk
- 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese – the sharper the better, and never from a bag!
- 1 Small box of the pasta of your choice – elbow is typical but hey, fusilli works too!
- Optional – Breadcrumbs for topping.
- Boil water, add salt and cook your pasta until it’s almost done. Don’t overcook because you’ll be finishing it off in the oven. Typically a minute or two less than what the box directions suggest. Drain and reserve in a lightly greased casserole dish.
- Melt the butter in the same pot, stirring in the flour slowly, with a bit of salt and pepper. This will start to thicken and that’s what you want. Slowly start adding the milk, stirring constantly while it bubbles and thickens.
- Next up start adding all of that delicious cheese! You can never go wrong with adding a bit more by the way and the reason we say don’t use grated “bagged” cheese is because most brands contain a specific “anti-clumping” ingredient and this is one recipe where you want lots of lumps and clumps.
- When you have a nice, thick and gooey sauce, fold in the pasta, place in the casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs if you wish. Bake for about 10 -15 minutes. It’s basic but beautiful!
*Helpful Hints: Consider adding extra spices like some paprika or garlic, maybe even a dash of cayenne or add some parmesan cheese to your breadcrumbs for more flavour. That’s the beauty of a good Mac ‘n Cheese, you can do just about anything you want to it and it’s still going to taste great!
Did you know that in addition to being considered, along with poutine, one of Canada’s National dishes, this comfort food for the ages is so popular and so colourful it’s literally had a crayon named after it? It’s true! In 1993 Crayola named one of its crayon colours “Macaroni and Cheese!” Perfect for the artist who simply must have just the right shade of orange when drawing a picture of their picture-perfect dinner. Here’s another fun fact, the Kraft brand of Mac & Cheese is actually the most purchased grocery product across the country. You never know when you’ll be playing Trivial Pursuit and need that information!
Now, if you love this pantry staple but are looking for ways to really enhance the flavour and profile for a more “adult” version, Fromage can help. We make the best of the best when it comes to this comfort food, offering a Gourmet version, an “Adult” style, a Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese, a Truffle (yes, Truffle!) and a Pizza version. They each come in three different serving sizes too with enough for one, a generous two-portion version and a family size! Of course Fromage is also home to about 60 different kinds of cheese from around the world, many of which melt perfectly and would pair nicely with pasta. There’s no reason to only think cheddar when it comes to your choice of cheese. Think outside the box, get creative, or let us do the cooking for you but whatever you do – get comfortable with the G.O.A.T. - Mac ‘n Cheese!